Barack Obama stops in Atlanta for Raphael Warnock campaign rally

Warnock is facing a re-election battle on Dec. 6 against Republican Herschel Walker
Both Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, and Republicans are campaigning to...
Both Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, and Republicans are campaigning to gain critical Senate seats.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:35 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:17 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Locked in a tight re-election battle against Republican Herschel Walker, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock is bringing in his party’s most popular political official Thursday night.

Former president Barack Obama returned to Atlanta Thursday to campaign for Warnock. Georgia’s nationally watched U.S. Senate runoff is set for Dec. 6.

This is Obama’s second visit to Georgia in as many months. He campaigned for Democrat Stacey Abrams, as well as for Warnock, at a metro Atlanta rally on Oct. 28, in the latter days of Georgia’s 2022 midterms. Abrams was unsuccessful in her bid to unseat incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp.

Former first lady Michelle Obama recorded two robocalls for Warnock: one that was sent out as early voting began in Georgia, and another that will be sent out on election day.

Kemp, who won more votes than any Republican on the Nov. 8 ballot, appeared with Walker two weekends ago outside at a popular Cobb County gun store. Kemp also endorsed Walker in a TV ad that began airing over Thanksgiving.

ELECTION 2022 | Runoff early-voting dates and times for metro Atlanta

Donald Trump, who succeeded Obama in the White House in 2018, touted Walker during his announcement that he is again running for president in 2024.

On Tuesday, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said, “Voters broke the all-time daily turnout record for in-person early voting on Monday, November 28. As of Tuesday morning, 468,000 Georgians have cast their in-person ballot for the December 6 runoff, with an astounding 301,545 casting their vote on Monday.

“Monday’s total is well above previous records of 233,252 voters processed on the final day of early voting in the 2018 general election, and 252,715 voting on the highest day of early voting in 2016,” Raffensperger added.

Georgia’s Senate runoff has huge implications for both next year and the 2024 presidential election year. If Walker wins, the Senate will remain split at 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, continuing to cast tie-breaking voters. If Warnock wins, Senate Democrats will have a 51-seat majority.

In 2024, Democrats are defending 21 incumbents and two independents who caucus with them, while the GOP is defending only 10 seats.

Early voting runs through Dec. 2.