Do the voters in Georgia even care at this point? That’s the question being asked as the campaigns of Democrat incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker try to inspire interest in their run-off race.

The Warnock campaign released an ad that basically says that Walker must be defeated because Donald Trump endorsed him. The ad is just Trump’s endorsement that he included in his announcement speech last Tuesday night from Mar a Lago. It’s lame and lazy.

That’s all they’ve got at this point? The presidential election isn’t for another two years. Regular people are not even thinking about it yet. Stop Trump? He has barely gotten into the 2024 presidential primary race and his win in that primary is not guaranteed. How about stop Warnock? Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is already in place and will continue to be over the course of the next two years. Warnock votes in lockstep with the Schumer and Biden agenda.

Interest in the run-off race is waning, according to a piece published by Axios today. Democrats will maintain their majority in the Senate and regular voters don’t bother to think about the advantage of a Walker win to ensure that committees are evenly made up of Republicans and Democrats. It makes it less likely that Democrats can ram through bills in committee. The election timetable is shortened to four weeks (which seems like plenty of time to me), and there is no reason to try to scare voters that Biden’s success is on the line. As far as the Senate goes, it was pretty much a status quo election. Democrats were in charge before November 8 and they are now, too.

The campaigns are having difficulty determining if voters who split their tickets with votes for Republican Governor Kemp and Democrat Warnock will still vote for Warnock in the run-off. And, the Democrat turnout machine was not as effective as it has been in the past. No Democrat won a statewide race. Also, younger voters didn’t show up to vote in the mid-term elections as they were expected to do. I mean, Joe Biden bribed them with student loan forgiveness, after all.

It must make the Warnock campaign nervous that Governor Kemp is campaigning with Walker and extending the help of his very effective turnout operation, as well as his fundraising efforts. Kemp is skilled in running a winning campaign and he has beat the Democrats’ super star candidate Stacey Abrams twice now. Even Oprah couldn’t save Stacey in either election against Kemp.

Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund is funding Walker’s campaign operations with a $2M donation. However, this is again going to be a very expensive race and Team Warnock is gearing up for the fight.

The other side: Warnock’s campaign, meanwhile, is adding 300 paid staffers (for a total of more than 900) and new ground game offices in key urban and suburban counties. The campaign tells Axios it plans to knock on more doors during the runoff than it did in the four months before the general election.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is also spending $7 million on runoff field organizing.

Will swing voters switch to Walker in the run-off? Democrats don’t expect that to happen.

McConnell told reporters Wednesday that Republicans have “a second chance in Georgia to get it right,” compared to November when he said the party nationally underperformed among centrist voters.

“50 is better than 49 and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got,” he said of the number of Republicans in the Senate.
Of note: In last week’s Axios Engagious/Schlesinger swing voter focus groups, all Kemp-Warnock voters said they plan to vote again in the runoff, and they plan to stick with Warnock.

Warnock’s campaign just released an ad directly targeting Kemp/Warnock split-ticket voters.

Warnock will have to do better with his ads to motivate his voters to get out and vote on December 6. I don’t think that just scaring voters with the name of Trump is going to be enough this time.

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