Obama will campaign for Warnock on December 1 before the Ga.

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Obama will campaign for Warnock on December 1 before the Ga.
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ATLANTE — Former President Barack Obama, resuming his battlefield blitz ahead of the midterm elections, will again campaign for Sen. Raphael Warnock as the Georgia Democrat tries to withstand a tough challenge from Republican Herschel Walker before their second round on December 6.

Obama’s return trip to Georgia is scheduled for Dec. 1, the day before the last day of in-person early voting that has proven critical for Democrats in recent years, including Warnock’s special election victory there. almost two years old. Obama first appeared with Warnock in late October during the general election early voting period.

Warnock led Walker by around 36,000 votes in the general election, but failed to secure a majority, triggering a runoff under Georgia law.

Obama is the only significant national Democrat campaigning in person for Warnock, who has spent much of his re-election bid targeting independent voters and even moderate Republicans, in addition to core Democratic supporters. Republicans, in turn, have sought to frame the race more as a national two-party referendum, tying Warnock to President Joe Biden and generationally high inflation.

The Democrats managed to defend their majority in the Senate, already securing 50 seats – as well as the decisive vote of Vice President Kamala Harris – and managing to limit the Republicans to a threadbare majority in the House. But Georgia remains a key seat because a 51st senator would give Democrats an absolute majority, including on Senate committees, while giving the caucus insurance against defections.

Warnock and other Democrats around the country viewed Obama as well-placed to carry the party banner because he remains hugely popular among the Democratic base and is still well regarded among independents.

Trying to capitalize on that stance ahead of the general election, Obama supported the GOP’s framing of voters’ midterm picks, arguing that Republicans offered no real solution to inflation that the former president pointed out. as a global phenomenon, not something that Biden and the Democrats in Washington created. Obama also called Republicans a threat to democracy, pointing to many GOP leaders’ continued support for former President Donald Trump and his false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

In Georgia in particular, Obama has hammered Walker, a famous athlete-turned-politician, as woefully ill-prepared for the Senate, an argument Warnock supports in both his campaign speeches and paid advertising.

Walker hosted a parade of National Republican figures, including several visits from Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, GOP Senate campaign chairman, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. But he did not appear with Trump, despite their longtime friendship and the former president encouraging Walker to run and then endorsing him.

Most of the early in-person votes for the second round are expected to take place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, the week before Election Day. Some counties plan to open early voting sites as early as Tuesday, but many counties said they could not make it happen in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Last week, a state judge granted a Democrats request to allow early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, though state officials appealed. It’s unclear how many local election offices would be able to pull together to lift the first sites over the holiday weekend, even if they are allowed to do so.

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Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville contributed from Washington.

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