The Unexpected Way GOP Fundraisers Are Pimping Herschel Walker's Senate Campaign

Republican nominee for U.S Senate Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign rally on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022 in Canton, Ga.. Walker is in a runoff with incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock.
Republican nominee for U.S Senate Herschel Walker speaks during a campaign rally on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022 in Canton, Ga.. Walker is in a runoff with incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock.

Ever since Herschel Walker announced that he was running for a U.S. Senate seat representing Georgia, his political opponents on the left have accused him, among other things, of being used. Specifically, he’s been accused of being a prop, a mascot of sorts, a Black man, who, because of his god-level athletic talent, his apparent willingness to play to stereotypes and to ignore or make excuses for racism, made him Republicans’ perfect counterweight to progressive opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, in ever-diversifying Georgia.

Even as a frequent critic of Walker and his campaign in this space, I realize how fraught that specific charge against him is; Black folks, after all, have the right to support or run in whichever political party they choose. And although the only demographic group Walker won outright in last week’s general election was white voters, he still managed to peel off 8% of Black voters, and higher percentages of Hispanic and Asian-Americans who cast their ballots.

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But, there is one space where even Walker’s campaign appears to now be acknowledging that he was, in fact, being used—and they’re not happy about it. That space is fundraising. An NBC News report shows that several conservative groups who set up to raise money by appealing to donors with a message that Walker’s campaign was crucial to helping Republican’s take back the Senate were actually keeping as much as 90 percent of the money raised, funneling “just a dime for every dollar given by small donors,” back to Walker.

From NBC News

Walker’s campaign, which has trailed Warnock’s in fundraising throughout the election, is asking fellow Republicans to stop their fundraising practices — or at least to start sharing more with the candidate.

“We need everyone focused on winning the Georgia Senate race, and deceptive fundraising tactics by teams that just won their races are siphoning money away from Georgia,” Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise said Monday.

“This is the last fight of 2022, and every dollar will help,” Paradise said. “The companies and consultants raising money off this need to cut it out.”

Campaign officials for Walker, who is now locked in a runoff against Warnock, are pushing back and trying to get the outside groups to change the default settings on their donation sites to allow for a 50-50 split rather than the 90-10 Walker’s currently getting beat for.

Meanwhile, the irony isn’t lost on anyone that the strongest argument conservatives had for asking hard working people to part with their money to help Herschel Walker get to Washington is now one of the weakest: win or lose Walker can’t tip the balance of power in the Senate because Democrats have already locked up enough seats to maintain control.

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