Warnock more than doubles Walker fundraising in pre-runoff period

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock raised $52.2 million from Oct. 20 through Nov. 16, a period representing the final days of the general election campaign and roughly the first week of the runoff.

Republican challenger Herschel Walker collected $20.9 million during the same time frame.

Warnock, a Democrat who lives in Atlanta, faces Walker in the Dec. 6 runoff election because no candidate received at least 50% of the vote on Nov. 8.

Throughout the campaign, Walker has struggled to keep up with Warnock in fundraising; he has collected $58.7 million from donors compared with Warnock’s $175.7 million.

Fundraising is just one indication of a campaign’s strength. Warnock’s campaign says his most recent haul demonstrates the strength of his coalition.

“Our campaign knows what it takes to win a runoff and has built a robust operation to energize and mobilize voters across the state,” campaign manager Quentin Fulks said in a statement. “The grassroots supporters lining up to support our campaign in record numbers are just the latest sign that Georgians are excited to turn out and propel Reverend Warnock to victory on Dec. 6.”

Even before the race was forced into a runoff, Georgia’s Senate contest was on pace to be the most expensive campaign of the year.

By far outpacing Walker in fundraising, Warnock has also spent more freely. During the pre-runoff period, his campaign reported $32.9 million in expenditures and ended the period with $29.7 million left in the bank.

Walker’s campaign spent $16.5 million over that time and has $9.8 million in cash on hand. However, their political parties and other outside groups are also spending heavily on behalf of both candidates.

A five-day early voting period begins statewide on Monday. Two Georgia counties — DeKalb and Douglas — started in-person early voting before Thanksgiving. At least 25 counties have said they will offer early voting this weekend on either Saturday, Sunday or both.

Although Democrats have secured a majority vote in the U.S. Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris able to break any tie, the outcome of the Georgia Senate race would still have an impact. By becoming the 51st Democratic senator, Warnock would ensure the party controls a majority of seats on committees.

Republicans have trumpeted a Walker win as essential to limiting Democrats’ power by ensuring a 50-50 split, therefore making it harder for President Joe Biden to carry out his agenda.