Sen. Raphael Warnock has taken a slight lead over Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate race, according to an Emerson College-The Hill survey released Tuesday.
According to The Hill, Warnock is polling at 48% to Walker’s 46%, which is a four-point improvement from a poll in August when Warnock trailed Walker 44% to 46%. Some believe the rise for Warnock can be attributed to reports and allegations that Walker allegedly paid for a former girlfriend’s abortion in 2009.
Walker, who stated he doesn’t believe in abortion under any circumstances, denied the claims during a contentious press conference last week, and threatened to sue The Daily Beast, which broke the story, for defamation.
While the former University of Georgia running back’s support in the polls has dropped, the story led to a record $500,000 in donations to his campaign, although he still trails Warnock in funding.
Warnock, who is a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the same Georgia church Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. served at, has received a boost in support from women. 52% of women who responded to the poll are supporting Warnock, compared to 42% who support Walker.
Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College polling, said the gender gap in the race has shifted, showing the abortion issue is a big one in Georgia.
“The gender gap in the Senate race has shifted in the Democrats’ favor since August,” Kimball said.
“Republican Walker’s eight-point advantage with men has closed to six, and Warnock’s lead with women has grown from five points to nine.”
Despite the tight polling for the two Black men, neither candidate has majority support in the race. Under the state’s election rules, if neither candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the men will face each other again in a December runoff. Warnock previously experienced the runoff process when he defeated former Sen. Kelly Loeffler in 2020.
The two men will debate each other on Friday, October 14, which Walker has all but conceded, saying in September, “He’s going to show up and embarrass me.”