IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Trump-backed Herschel Walker wins Georgia primary race

The gaffe-prone NFL running back will be the GOP's candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia this fall.


Herschel Walker, the gaffe-prone former NFL running back endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won the GOP primary election for U.S. Senate in Georgia, NBC News projected Tuesday.

Walker will face off against incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who has a strong shot at winning. One needn’t look beyond Walker’s scandal-plagued campaign for answers why.

Walker the football player ran like the wind. Walker the political candidate ran like he was stuck in quicksand. The Walker campaign had all the backing a Republican candidate could want: He was endorsed by both Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and he was blessed with a nice war chest from right-wing donors who apparently liked his rant-filled appearances on conservative media. But all of this has just been dressing for an obviously flawed candidate. 

From the beginning, Walker’s campaign was rocked by allegations of domestic violence. His ex-wife has accused him of holding a gun to her head and threatening to pull the trigger in one moment of alleged abuse. Walker told Axios in December that he's "accountable" for his past violence toward his ex-wife.

Some Republicans voiced concerns about Walker’s viability early on because of the allegations, but the GOP largely fell in line behind the candidate anyway. And when the campaign got into full swing, it really just amounted to Walker’s press team scheduling short, carefully controlled appearances — likely both to avoid having the candidate answer questions about his past and to avoid having the candidate answer questions about policy. He even skipped the primary debates against his GOP opponents — likely because he's a notoriously bad political communicator who doesn’t appear to have any grasp on policy beyond rote talking points.

Here’s another meandering rant from Walker:

Walker’s support from Trump, who once owned a now-defunct football team Walker played for years ago, has been a major factor in his campaign in a state where Trump baselessly accused Joe Biden of stealing the 2020 election.

Before Trump gave the candidate his “complete and total endorsement” last fall, Walker had been serving as a surrogate who spoke highly about the former president in public.

Asked recently whether, as a Trump-endorsed candidate, he backed Trump’s baseless allegation that the election was stolen, Walker defied reality and claimed Trump never said it. It’s an obvious lie, but it’s a pretty strong indicator of what to expect from Walker if he were ever elected: mindless support for Trump and whatever Walker thinks will make Trump look good.