ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Republican candidate Herschel Walker says he’s not losing the U.S. Senate race and took issue with an 11Alive poll this week that showed Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock nine points ahead of him.
Part of Walker’s appeal to Republicans who urged him to run in the U.S. Senate race was his potential to strip Black voting strength away from Sen. Raphael Warnock. Both candidates are African American.
If Walker could sway enough Black voters --- who historically tend to vote Democratic -- he could win the Senate race.
11Alive's poll, commissioned through SurveyUSA, not only shows Walker behind Warnock by nine points overall; it also shows Warnock overwhelmingly has the support of Black voters.
Data shows Warnock with 85 percent of Black voters responding to the poll, 5 percent said they supported Walker.
In fact, it indicates Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, a white candidate, has more support from Black voters than Walker has. Nine percent of Black voters said they would back Kemp.
"No, I think you're wrong about it," Walker said Friday when asked about the poll at a campaign event in Alpharetta. "I don’t need to argue with you about it. So I think you’re wrong. You know you're wrong," he told the questioner, who had asked a question based on the poll data.
Walker was campaigning with law enforcement backers, as well as former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgia GOP political legend who represented Georgia's 6th congressional district for 20 years.
"I think the polls have been consistently wrong," Gingrich said, suggesting that voters may not reveal their full opinion. "You have a huge bias that has, I think, consistently underestimated the Trump vote. And I think you're going to have the same thing happen here," he said.
And yet Walker’s face brightened when asked about a different poll that appears to show him closer to Warnock than 11Alive's did, showing that most politicians love polls when they don’t show them losing.