Filed Under: Politics

Thomas: Republicans want a ‘comeback’ in Warnock vs. Walker

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Georgia has become a major political battleground over the last several election cycles. And polls in the state have closed within the last hour. Republicans are looking at the Senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker as a potential pickup. This race alone could swing Congress’ upper chamber into Republican control.

“As you can see, it’s been record turnout. Just in the last week, we’ve had over 100,000 people than we’ve ever had in a turnout in early voting,” said Representative Erica Thomas, D-Ga. 

According to Thomas, incumbent Warnock has been up in the polls, but Republicans want a comeback and believe Herschel is their candidate. But not all Republicans are backing him.

“We shall see, just in a few hours, what is really going to happen between Herschel Walker and Senator Warnock. But I’m telling you right now, we may have an upset and we may have a surprise, I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. But we’re going to see something that we’ve never seen tonight,” Thomas said. 

Thomas said she’s expecting a lot of change happening in Georgia in the future, and she said that could have a major effect on voting at the polls.

“A lot more of minorities are moving into the state of Georgia. We are now over 40% of Georgians that are minority and that are Democrat. And so we have to really look at that and say that you know what, these people are voting for issues that are dear to their heart,” Thomas said. 

SHANNON LONGWORTH: Georgia has become a major political battleground over the last several election cycles and polls in the state have closed within the last hour. Republicans are looking at the Senate race between Senator Raphael, Warnock and Herschel Walker as a potential pickup. This race alone could swing Congress’s upper chamber into Republican control. Joining us now to discuss the important races affecting Georgia is democratic state representative Erica Thomas, Representative Thomas, just a few weeks ago, it looks like Senator Warnock would be able to easily retain his seat amid Walker’s controversy. What happened?

REP. ERICA THOMAS | (D-GA): Well, you know a lot can happen in a few weeks. I think that people are getting out to vote. And as you can see, it’s been record turnout. Just in the last week, we’ve had over 100,000 people than we’ve ever had in a turnout in early voting. We see that Warnock is an incumbent and we do see that he is has been up in the polls. But we also see that the Republicans are trying their best to make sure that they can have a comeback. They were not successful with bringing Purdue back, Senator Perdue back. And so they feel that Herschel is the candidate. However, there are some Republicans that don’t feel that way as well. And don’t feel that he is the candidate for them. So we shall see, just in a few hours, what is really going to happen between Herschel Walker and Senator Warnock. But I’m telling you right now, we may have upset and we may have a surprise, I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. But we’re going to see something that we’ve never seen tonight.

LONGWORTH: Let’s switch gears and look at another race. Governor Brian Kemp edged out Stacey Abrams and 2018. Tonight, there’s a rematch. Polling hasn’t been as favorable this cycle for Abrams, why do you think that is?

THOMAS: Well, I would say that to be honest with you, people were so excited about Stacey Abrams, four years ago, we wanted change, and we wanted it now. And as you can see, four years later, it’s very hard to be an incumbent in any race. You know, we wouldn’t make history tonight, if we were able to pull it off. You know, the only time that I’ve seen in the last 1020 years where an incumbent has been able to be beat was our Democratic governor, which was Governor Roy Barnes. And the only reason why he was an incumbent that was able to be beat by someone that wasn’t an incumbent was because he got rid of the rebel flag, the Confederate flag in the state flag. And a lot of people were upset about that. Why? I don’t know, because I wasn’t upset about it. But because of that, he lost his race. He even told his wife, when they voted on that bill, they were going to lose this because I stood up for what was right. And he was super content about that. And I love him for that. But I will tell you tonight that what she has been down in the polls, and we see that, but so was Trump. We knew Hillary was going to win. We just knew that Hillary was going to win. We knew Trump couldn’t pull it off. All the polls said that Hillary was going to win. But then what happened? Trump won. So we believe that hope. Hopefully tonight, polls might not matter. We don’t know. We shall see tonight, if the polls can actually predict an election.

LONGWORTH: Democrats have become competitive in Georgia in recent years. What do you see changing in the state?

THOMAS: Well, I would say that there’s a lot changing and one thing changing. Is there a lot more of minorities that are moving into the state of Georgia? You know, we may be we may have been at 30%. And now we’re over 40% of Georgians that are minority and that are Democrat. And so we have to really look at that and say that you know what, these people are voting for issues that are dear to their heart. And a lot of those issues are abortion rights. Some of those issues are when it comes to voting rights. You know, and when you look at us not being able to break the filibuster when it comes to the Senate. You know, we should be able to pass a lot of these bills that Democrats want to pass, but we don’t have enough US senate members. And so I think that Democrats are tired of not winning when it comes to the positions that they value. The most. And so today, and for the last two weeks, you have seen numbers record numbers coming out to vote here in Georgia, because a lot of Democrats are saying, You know what? It is now the time not yesterday, not the day before, not last year. But now is the time for us to come together and move forward. And the only way that we can move forward is if we win the ballot all the way down.

LONGWORTH: Do you see a scenario in which Georgia is blue in presidential elections and red and midterm or off year elections? Or was 2020 just an anomaly due to President Trump’s on popularity?

THOMAS: Well, you know, you can see a lot of different things. And as a legislator, it’s crazy because a lot of people don’t vote all the way down the ballot. And that’s what we’re seeing. You know, a lot of people see the president election, the Senate, the Senate election, or the governor election, and they don’t, they don’t vote for a state representative. They don’t vote for the six questions that are on the ballot. And because of that, they’re not getting exactly what they want out of the government. And they may blame that on the executive branch. But you cannot do that. Because I’m going to tell you something right now. And I see it every day day in and day out, is that the state representatives, the state senators, the school board members, and the county commissioners are the people that actually are the closest to you when it comes to the things that people really want to get done every single day. And so until Republican or Democrat, until people actually understand that fully and vote all the way down the ballot, they won’t see the change that they want to happen.

LONGWORTH: Georgia Democratic State Representative Erica Thomas, thank you for being here tonight.

THOMAS: Thank you so much for having me.

TRANSCRIPT GENERATED ELECTRONICALLY

Georgia has become a major political battleground over the last several election cycles. And polls in the state have closed within the last hour. Republicans are looking at the Senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker as a potential pickup. This race alone could swing Congress’ upper chamber into Republican control.

“As you can see, it’s been record turnout. Just in the last week, we’ve had over 100,000 people than we’ve ever had in a turnout in early voting,” said Representative Erica Thomas, D-Ga. 

According to Thomas, incumbent Warnock has been up in the polls, but Republicans want a comeback and believe Herschel is their candidate. But not all Republicans are backing him.

“We shall see, just in a few hours, what is really going to happen between Herschel Walker and Senator Warnock. But I’m telling you right now, we may have an upset and we may have a surprise, I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. But we’re going to see something that we’ve never seen tonight,” Thomas said. 

Thomas said she’s expecting a lot of change happening in Georgia in the future, and she said that could have a major effect on voting at the polls.

“A lot more of minorities are moving into the state of Georgia. We are now over 40% of Georgians that are minority and that are Democrat. And so we have to really look at that and say that you know what, these people are voting for issues that are dear to their heart,” Thomas said. 

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