Abortion bombshell rocks Georgia Senate race. Neither of the two candidates wants to discuss it.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Another Shoe fall in the unfolding drama involving Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker when The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that the ex-girlfriend whose abortion he is accused of having paid in 2009 is also the mother of one of her four children.

But the next day, neither of the two candidates wanted to talk about it.

Walker, who supports banning abortion with no exceptions, issued another blanket rejection Asked about the Daily Beast reporting on Thursday, telling reporters after a campaign event in Wadley: ‘The abortion thing is wrong. This is a lie.”

“The Democrats desperately want this seat. This seat is important. They are very desperate for this seat,” Walker said.

His Democratic opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock, dodged two questions from NBC News here to find out if he believes Walker’s denials and if he thinks Georgians can trust Walker. Warnock then turned to his support for abortion rights, saying, “The people of Georgia need a senator who will stand with women.”

Warnock and Walker delivered their stump speeches at dueling rallies on Thursday. Walker spoke about his early days in football at Johnson County and then his journey to the University of Georgia and professional football. Warnock mentioned his roots as a Baptist preacher and highlighted his political accomplishments over the past two years in the Senate, from the family tax credit in the U.S. bailout to a highway amendment he co-wrote with the Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. He said if re-elected he will fight to expand Medicaid in Georgia.

Neither has mentioned the abortion allegations, the latest in a series of reports about Walker’s tumultuous past that include allegations of domestic abuse and threats against his ex-wife. Walker was never criminally chargedand in a recent advert he says he had a “battle with mental health issues” which he “overcame”.

Warnock exercised caution when questioned on these matters.

“What we hear about my opponent is disturbing. And I think the people of Georgia really have a choice of who they think is ready to represent them in the U.S. Senate,” Warnock told reporters Thursday, without directly addressing the abortion story.

The Daily Beast reported that he corroborated the details of the woman’s abortion accusation with a close friend who “she told at the time and who the woman and her friend said took care of her. her in the days following the operation”. He also released what the woman said was a ‘healing’ card signed by Walker and said she had provided both the receipt from the abortion clinic and a bank deposit showing an image of Walker’s check. reimbursing her for the procedure. The Daily Beast said it did not identify the woman to protect her privacy.

Walker denied the story and said he planned to sue the site for defamation.

Relaxation is the product of several factors. Warnock’s visible discomfort with personal politics makes him reluctant to become negative towards his rival. Warnock’s allies, meanwhile, see the issue more as a battle between Walker and Georgia voters — why give his opponent a chance to make history?

Instead, outside Democratic groups have taken on the role of attack dog and are watching history unfold in search of opportunities to get involved. Beyond that, Warnock’s core voters seem to prefer him to focus elsewhere.

At a rally in Savannah, where Warnock was born and raised, Arlene Gioia said she wanted him to “stay out of the drama” about Walker’s past. “It’s not important at all,” she said, waving a Warnock sign before he took the stage. What is “very important” to her is that Democrats hold the Senate and fight “extremism” in the GOP.

Maggie Hickey, 24, a bartender and student, agreed that Warnock should not try to exploit the story. “It’s harmful to bring up this – to bring up a woman’s old pain,” she said, calling Walker’s revelations “not surprising” but “unfortunate.”

“He’s famous,” she said of Walker. “I guess that’s what he’s running on.”

“The Death of a Thousand Cuts”

The report that Walker paid for an abortion, which NBC News has not independently verified, elevates the themes of character and political hypocrisy in one of the most competitive races in the country this fall. Walker is “pro-life and pro-family,” he proclaims on his campaign website. He runs on a staunchly anti-abortion platform, aligning himself with those who believe ending a pregnancy is akin to murder.

But it remains to be seen how much history will reshape a calcified political environment in which a large majority of voters seem unshakable, especially if none of the candidates want to discuss it. National Republicans and anti-abortion rights groups have rallied to Walker following the reports, and so far there is little evidence that core GOP voters here are moved by it. Republicans also pointed to precedents allegations by Warnock’s ex-wife of mistreatment and a child care argument between the two.

The stakes are high as the race could decide control of the Senate, which is split 50-50 and led by Democrats with the deciding vote of Vice President Kamala Harris.

“I’m concerned about one thing, and one thing only, at this point,” conservative radio host Dana Loesch said on her show this week. “So I don’t care that Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles – I want control of the Senate.”

Georgia is a hypercompetitive state where small changes can prove decisive: in 2020, Joe Biden won the state by less than 12,000 votes, and the Democrats went on to win two Senate races by 2 percentage points or less .

“This latest revelation may not displace hundreds of thousands of votes, but it may displace tens of thousands of people who would otherwise vote for Herschel Walker – and vote for the Democrat or skip this contest,” said said Charles Bullock, a political scientist. a professor at the University of Georgia, where Walker played college football and won the national championship and the Heisman Trophy.

Bullock said the story contributes to a “death on a thousand cuts” scenario for Walker, who runs behind Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and other statewide GOP candidates, his honesty and his character being increasingly questioned.

“For people largely in the suburbs — white, college-educated — for some of them it becomes the last straw,” he said.

But those in Walker’s orbit insist the story will fall apart.

“No one is impacted by this. It’s not going to move the needle,” said an adviser to Walker, who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “And Democrats are going to lose their minds when it’s not the case.”

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