Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker are calling in some of their parties’ big guns in the Georgia runoff campaign, but former President Donald Trump, President Biden and Vice President Harris have so far remained on the sidelines.
The latest high-profile national politician to announce a visit to the state is former President Barack Obama. He’ll travel to Atlanta to campaign with Warnock on Dec. 1.
The Walker campaign has brought in a long list of high-profile Republicans to back his bid for U.S. senator. Among them are potential presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., both of whom are speaking at a rally for Walker Tuesday.
HARRIS DODGES WHEN ASKED IF SHE’LL GO TO GEORGIA TO CAMPAIGN FOR WARNOCK
Others who’ve joined Walker are RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and former House Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott, R-Fla., has spent significant time in Georgia stumping for Walker. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, and Lt. Gov. Burt Jones are hitting the trail hard for their party’s nominee, and Kemp has activated his highly successful political apparatus.
But none of the most high-profile members of both parties – Trump, Harris and Biden – have gone to Georgia since the general election, and none have announced visits to the state before the Dec. 6 runoff.
“The people who you bring in are those who you think are going to help you with the electorate,” Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, told WHD News Digital. “Some of these high-profile folks would actually harm you and might help the other side. And that is because they would potentially fire up the other side, who might go out and try to defeat that high-profile person.”
“Tongue in cheek – Democrats might want to think about paying the airfare and bringing Donald Trump to Georgia,” Bullock added. “And for President Biden, yeah he has appeared in lots of Republican ads, not in any Democratic ads.”
“I haven’t made any decision yet,” Harris said Tuesday when asked by a reporter during an international trip to Malaysia if she and Biden would stump for Warnock in Georgia. “I’m basically still trying to figure out what I’m doing tomorrow.”
OBAMA TO CAMPAIGN FOR WARNOCK BEFORE GEORGIA SENATE RUNOFF
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has also declined to outline any planned travel for Biden to Georgia, though she said the president wants to be helpful to Warnock.
Biden and Harris both kept a low-profile campaign schedule ahead of the midterms, including zero visits to Georgia before the general election.
Trump rallied in Georgia for Walker and other Georgia candidates in September 2021, and March 2022, though he did not return after the primaries. Many Republicans supportive of Walker publicly said Trump should have waited to announce his presidential campaign until after the Georgia runoff to avoid becoming a distraction to the race.
A Trump spokesman, however, told WHD News Digital earlier this month that Trump is “committed to [Walker’s] success and his support will be critical on Election Day.”
SCHUMER REACTS TO KEEPING SENATE CONTROL: ‘VICTORY AND VINDICATION’ FOR DEMOCRATS AND AMERICA
The stakes of 2022’s Georgia Senate runoff are much lower than they were in 2020, when Biden, Harris and Trump all held rallies in the state. That’s because Democrats have already locked in a majority in the Senate, and Republicans clinched a majority in the House of Representatives. That assures a split government for the next two years, regardless of the outcome in the Walker-Warnock race.
The Georgia runoff will decide whether the Senate is split 51-49 for Democrats, or if it remains 50-50, which will let Harris break tie votes in favor of Democrats.
An evenly split Senate would give Republicans more cushion as they seek to prevent Democrats from doing away with the legislative filibuster.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE WHD News APP
It would also force Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to continue a power-sharing agreement that, among other things, gives Republicans equal committee representation and makes it easier for them to slow down legislation and nominees in committee.
WHD News’ Paige Burruto and Claudia Kelly-Bazan contributed to this report.