Graham Pushes for Walker Win: Big Difference in Senate Power Structure If GOP Retains 50-50 Split
GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina made the case why Georgia Republicans need to turn out and vote for Herschel Walker over incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Tuesday’s run-off election.
Democrats currently hold a 50 to 49 advantage over Republicans going into the contest.
“If it’s a 50-50 Senate that means all the committees have equal representation. If it’s 51-49, they have one more vote than we do on every committee,” Graham said on Fox News.
“That matters in terms of the type of judges you get,” he explained.
“In 2024, we have a very favorable map. We don’t want to be down 51-49 going into 2024. And Hershel Walker’s a breakthrough candidate like Tim Scott and John James. We need more people of color wanting to be Republicans,” Graham said.
Twenty-three seats held by Democrats (including independent Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who caucus with the Democrats) are up for re-election in 2024 versus 10 seats held by Republicans.
Graham concluded, “It’s a very big deal for us. It matters how the Senate is run. It matters to the future of the Republican Party.”
Politico reported Warnock’s campaign war chest was three times larger than Walker’s as of the Federal Election Commission’s reporting period ending Nov. 16: $29.7 million in the bank versus $9.8 million.
“From Nov. 9 — when the runoff was officially announced — through Nov. 27, over $44 million has been poured into TV, radio and digital ads, per AdImpact. That includes more than $31 million from Democrats and over $12 million from Republicans,” Politico added.
The Associated Press spelled out why the Democrats are pushing so hard for a 51-49 Senate.
Having a one-seat advantage on every committee means Democrats can move Biden nominees through the Senate faster, as well as move legislation out of committee and to the Senate floor.
“That just slows the process down,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin told ABC News earlier his month regarding a 50-50 split.
“If we had 51-49, it would be a much better situation,” he said.
Great to be out campaigning yesterday with the next senator from Georgia, @HerschelWalker.
This race is too important to sit on the sidelines.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 19, 2022
The AP further noted that an additional senator would help Democrats with “The Manchin Problem.”
“The extra seat would also give Democrats the ability to pass bills while losing one vote within their caucus — a luxury they haven’t had over the last two years. Manchin, a moderate from conservative West Virginia, often used the narrow margin to his advantage, forcing Democrats to bend to his will on several pieces of legislation,” the AP said.
“Manchin’s opposition to Biden’s sweeping health, climate and economic package [Build Back Better] stalled it for months, until [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer negotiated a narrower version with the West Virginia senator. In the end, several of Biden’s legislative priorities were left out.”
Manchin likely will not play as much of a factor individually with the Republicans set to take over the House of Representatives.
He, along with fellow somewhat moderate Democratic senators Krysten Sinema of Arizona and Jon Tester of Montana, are all up for re-election in 2024, perhaps making them more inclined to move toward the center.