EXCLUSIVE: Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker brought in $12 million during the July through September third quarter of 2022 fundraising, as he challenges Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia in a race that’s among a handful across the country that will likely determine if the GOP wins back the Senate majority in November’s midterm elections.
While the fundraising figure, which was shared first with Fox News on Wednesday, was less than half of Warnock’s haul during the same period, it’s nearly double the $6.2 million Walker brought in during the April-June second quarter of fundraising. And it’s the former college and professional football star’s biggest quarterly figure since he declared his candidacy in Georgia in August of last year.
Walker’s campaign noted that it’s the largest amount raised in the third quarter by any of the Republican challengers in this year’s Senate races. And they also announced that they received contributions from “tens of thousands of donors” and had $7 million cash on hand as of the end of last month.
“My team and I have traveled to every corner of Georgia, and everywhere we go people have made it clear that Raphael Warnock has sided with Joe Biden and left them behind,” Walker emphasized in a statement. “The people are so fired up for a new warrior in Washington that they have literally put their money where their mouths are.”
And Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise highlighted that “we are raising more money than ever and have the resources needed to get our message out. Herschel Walker will win.”
But Walker’s fundraising, while impressive, pales in comparison to the massive $26.3 million Warnock hauled in during the third quarter. Warnock’s campaign, in reporting their fundraising figures on Monday, said that they ended September with $13.7 million in their coffers.
Warnock’s cash on hand was nearly double what Walker has in his campaign coffers.
Warnock, the senior pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach, narrowly defeated GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler one of Georgia’s twin Jan. 5, 2021, Senate runoff elections. Republicans view him as vulnerable as he seeks a full six-year term representing the battleground state in the Senate.
While Warnock and allied Democratic groups outspent Walker and GOP aligned groups in the ads wars during the summer, the race remains close. An average of the latest public opinion polls in the showdown compiled by Real Clear Politics indicates the senator holding a 3.8 point advantage over the GOP challenger. And the latest Fox News poll in Georgia, conducted Sept. 22-26, indicated Warnock with a four-point edge over Walker.
His campaign’s release of his fundraising figures comes as Walker continues to deny a bombshell report that posted on Monday that he paid for a girlfriend’s abortion 13 years ago.
The Daily Beast reported that Walker in 2009 urged an unnamed former girlfriend to get an abortion after she became pregnant while they were dating, and that he reimbursed her $700 for the procedure. The report cited interviews with a woman who said she had a bank receipt showing Walker’s alleged payment, and a “get well” card that he reportedly sent her.
The report said the woman provided proof of her intimate relationship with Walker, and that they corroborated details in the woman’s story with a close friend who said she took care of her in days following the alleged abortion. Fox News has not verified the reporting.
Walker — who is a vocal opponent of abortion and supports a proposed 15-week federal ban against the procedure — in an interview Monday night on Fox News’ “Hannity,” called the allegations “a flat-out lie.”
And he pointed fingers at Democrats, arguing in an interview Wednesday morning on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” that “it just shows how desperate they are night now. They see me as a big threat.”
Walker’s campaign tells Fox News that they raised roughly half a million dollars in the 36 hours after The Daily Beast story went viral. And Republican groups quickly rallied around Walker and discounted The Daily Beast story.
Walker, who won a Heisman Trophy and helped steer the University of Georgia to a college football national championship four decades ago, jumped into the GOP race to face off against Warnock after months of support and encouragement to run for the Senate by former President Donald Trump, his longtime friend.
Thanks to his legendary status among many in Georgia and his immense, favorable, name recognition in the Peach State, Walker instantly became the overwhelming front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination and basically ignored the field of lesser-known primary rivals, declining to take part in debates as he focused his campaign on Warnock. Walker ended up trouncing his rivals in the May primary, but he quickly came under fire as the general election got underway.
Walker has been heavily criticized both on the campaign trail and in ads over what Democrats call his numerous “bizarre or false statements.” A TV ad by Warnock’s campaign that launched over the summer highlighted past comments by Walker saying that he had a “dry mist” that would “kill any COVID on your body.”
Walker has also taken incoming fire over numerous reports that he overinflated the success of his businesses and academic record and was forced to play defense regarding a number of personal controversies — from the allegations of past abuse and threats against his first wife, to acknowledging children he fathered out of wedlock that he had not previously publicly mentioned despite for decades criticizing absent fathers.