Herschel Walker Significantly Underperforms Rest of Republican Ticket

November 10, 2022

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan: “…I think a lot of Republicans like me are waking up this morning going what could’ve been. What could’ve been if we picked a better candidate?”

On election night in Georgia, Herschel Walker vastly underperformed despite an environment that set him up for success. Walker was one of only two statewide GOP candidates who failed to clear two million ballots — earning fewer raw votes than every single statewide Republican on the ballot. Walker’s weak election night performance, in contrast with Reverend Warnock’s strong night, shows that Georgians all across the state recognize that Walker’s damning pattern of lies, scams, and disturbing conduct makes him unfit to serve them in the United States Senate. 

Here’s what Georgians are seeing and hearing:


  • Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan: “… I think a lot of Republicans like me are waking up this morning going what could’ve been. What could’ve been if we would’ve picked a better candidate that could’ve won with a margin like Brian Kemp?”
  • Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan: “There were 200,000 folks by quick math this morning that were ticket splitters – that voted for Brian Kemp and specifically voted for Raphael Warnock and not for Herschel Walker. 

11Alive Atlanta:

  • Doug Richards, 11Alive: “There were nine Republicans on the statewide ballot yesterday and Herschel Walker got the fewest votes of all of them, but Walker does have some potential cards he can play as he faces Democrat Raphael Warnock in this upcoming runoff.
  • “Kemp led a slate of Republicans that won statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, and six other positions with an average margin of about 7.3%, more than a quarter million votes in each race. All those Republicans outpolled Walker who lagged behind Warnock by less than a percentage point at about 34,000 votes.” 

WRBL Columbus:

  • Chuck Williams, WRBL: “Handicapping the runoff will not be easy but Warnock has been there before, defeating incumbent Kelly Loeffler in January of 2021.”
  • Scott Buchanan, Georgia College and State University: “I think it’s going to be tougher for Walker because as you just mentioned you won’t have Brian Kemp on the ballot to bring Republicans to the polls.” 

The New York Times: Unwilling to Hold Their Nose and Vote, Ticket-Splitters Make Their Mark

  • For years they seemed to be an ever-more-endangered species, increasingly subsumed by the bitter tribalism that has come to define the nation’s politics.
  • But on Tuesday, ticket-splitters reasserted themselves as a still small, but clearly consequential, force in American life. From Georgia to Pennsylvania, there are signs that at least some voters are resisting the complete polarization of the country, emphasizing candidate qualifications, personal attributes and basic likability over partisan identity alone, and sending a sharp message to the Republican Party that there are consequences for promoting people regarded as well outside the political mainstream.
  • And in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, defeated the Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams, by about 8 percentage points, while the Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, embroiled in significant controversies in his personal life, narrowly trailed Senator Raphael Warnock, the Democrats’ nominee, on Wednesday afternoon ahead of a runoff election.
  • “It’s pretty clear to me that Walker is not capable of being a U.S. senator,” said Brian Gage, 48, of Sandy Springs, Ga., who voted for former President Donald J. Trump in 2020 and this year backed Mr. Kemp and, reluctantly, Mr. Warnock. “His marital issues and his domestic violence issues, and things like that, yeah, those concern me,” he said of Mr. Walker.
  • In Georgia, the Senate race centered to a striking degree on personal character. Mr. Walker, who ran as a staunch social conservative, faced accusations of domestic violence from his ex-wife, and two women have said he paid for their abortions. He has denied the latter accusations.
  • Jeffrey Hackling, 72, said he voted for Mr. Kemp and Mr. Warnock. His decision to vote for Mr. Warnock was “tough,” he said, and he felt pressure from other Republicans in his life, including his wife, to vote for Mr. Walker — but he couldn’t get there, alarmed by Mr. Walker’s record.
  • “I did not like Herschel Walker, all the lies that he did and said,” said Mr. Hackling, a Republican from Milton, Ga. “A lot of people wanted to talk me into voting for a Republican but I did not like him, I did not like the person.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The Jolt: Split-ticket voters push Warnock and Walker to possible runoff

  • The Brian Kemp-Raphael Warnock split-ticket voter that kept surfacing in polls ahead of Election Day didn’t prove so elusive after all.
  • Although the final result in the Senate race is still too close to call, every statewide Democratic candidate appeared to have lost on Tuesday — except for Warnock. As of Wednesday morning, returns show Warnock leading Republican nominee Herschel Walker with only a slight margin.
  • The detailed vote count shows the trend further. On the Democratic side, Warnock finished with about 130,000 more votes than gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, with about 1,923,800 for the senator as of Wednesday morning. For the Republicans, Walker trailed Gov. Brian Kemp’s total by about 201,000 votes, with 1,894,928 votes overall.
  • Several factors explain why Warnock outperformed the rest of the statewide Democratic ticket. Walker’s history of misstatements, violence against his ex-wife and controversy over abortion kept some GOP voters away.


  • Sam Gringlas, WABE: “…But what’s already clear is that Walker underperformed his fellow Republican Georgia governor Brian Kemp, likely in part because Walker’s campaign was dogged by scandals from the start. 


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