Walker vs. Warnock | What to watch for during Friday’s GA Senate debate

Battle could determine the balance of political power in Washington, D.C.
Walker Warnock senate race
Walker Warnock senate race(DC Bureau)
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 6:14 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2022 at 2:33 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - It’s a race that continues to capture the nation’s attention.

U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker and incumbent Raphael Warnock will face off in their first and only debate Friday night.

The winner of Georgia’s U.S. senate race could determine the balance of power in the chamber.

Georgia voters know the stakes for this U.S. Senate race couldn’t be higher.

“I will watch the debate because I think you need to be informed as much as possible on both sides,” said Atlanta resident, Karen Forest.

The debate comes just over a week after Walker was alleged to have paid for a 2009 abortion for a previous girlfriend.

Walker, a strong-anti abortion advocate, continues to deny the allegations.

“The challenge for any incumbent is that there are hefty expectations on them,” said Benjamin Taylor, Professor of Political Science at Kennesaw State University.

Dr. Ben Taylor answers three questions about the midterms.

He said it’s yet to be seen if Warnock will bring up the abortion claims against Walker.

“The needle for Warnock to thread is how do you bring up these very sensitive and quite explosive claims that have been made about Herschel Walker over the last few weeks,” Taylor said. “How do you do that in a way that is done tactfully but also pivots to the responsibility of the office?”

Friday’s debate will be the only chance voters get to see these two candidates face off in person before the November election.

“I think Warnock will certainly be ready to exploit Walker’s weaknesses when it comes to discussing policy,” said Republican strategist and consultant, Leo Smith.

RELATED: Early voting begins Monday in Georgia’s historic 2022 midterms

As for Walker, Smith predicts the former football star will tie Warnock to Pres. Joe Biden and the economy.

“Herschel Walker’s job is to show that the reason that you’re feeling the pain of inflation is because of Joe Biden,” said Smith.

Recent polls show both candidates are virtually tied.

Taylor said debates typically don’t change people’s minds, but in this case, he said it could help sway some undecided voters.

RELATED: Georgia’s political debate season begins

“Voters who are not really plugged into the news all that much that they’ll catch this debate or catch the coverage of the debate, that can move people’s opinions particularly that tenish percent who are undecided,” said Taylor.

Friday’s debate will take place in Savannah at 7 p.m.