Gulbransen and Leahy Analyze the Warnock-Walker U.S. Senate Runoff Election in Georgia

Live from Music Row, Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Aaron Gulbransen in studio to discuss the Warnock-Walker Senate runoff election today in Georgia.

Leahy: We welcome into our studios this morning the official guest host of The Tennessee Star Report, formerly our lead political reporter until he was stolen by the Faith and Freedom Coalition to be the state director for Tennessee for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Mr. Aaron Gulbransen. Good morning, Aaron.

Gulbransen: Good rainy morning here in Nashville.

Leahy: It is rainy. It’s not snowing. Nothing delightful about it. The roads are slick. It’s kind of cold. It’s overcast and it’s raining.

Gulbransen: But no one knows how to drive in the rain.

Leahy: Nobody in Nashville knows how to drive in the rain or in the snow. And all these people coming in from other parts of the United States, those coming from Illinois and New York, apparently when they come into Tennessee, they forget how to drive in the rain and the snow because everybody kind of drives a little crazy.

But this morning, Aaron Gulbransen, I have Georgia on my mind.

Gulbransen: We’re talking about rain and Georgia in the same sentence? It kind of works today.

Leahy: So, of course, runoff election today. Raphael Warnock, the incumbent, left-wing, communist, socialist.

Gulbransen: Probably the most liberal member of the Senate.

Leahy: The most left-wing member of the Senate is running against in a runoff. He won by, like, half a percentage point but didn’t get to 50 percent in the November election.

He’s running against Herschel Walker. And by the way, I’ve heard that there is one very effective organization going door to door for Herschel Walker in Georgia, and that’s your group.

Ralph Reed, of course, lives in Georgia. He’s the chairman and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Apparently, they’re doing a lot of door-to-door work in Georgia. I’ve heard good things about that. Yeah.

Gulbransen: And the Georgia affiliate as well as the Nashville – because that’s where the Nashville headquarters are doing – is educating voters of faith and reminding them to go out and exercise their constitutional rights there. Clearly, there’s a big difference between the two candidates on the issues that matter to the conservatives and that sort of thing.

Leahy: We have four journalists down there today with our Georgia Star News, which is part of The Star News Network, and they are credentialed journalists in four key counties. Cobb County, Dekalb County, Fulton County, and Clayton County.

And they are right inside the vote tabulation centers, and they are videotaping everything that’s going on today just in case some ballots might appear from the ceiling.

Gulbransen: Or there’s a random water main break in the middle of the night.

Leahy: Just in case, there will be video. We’ll have that up probably tomorrow. But I have to tell you, I’m looking at the facts of the case here. And let’s look at the plus for Herschel Walker. Plus number one is Governor Brian Kemp is helping get out the vote.

And Kemp really did a great job defeating Stacey Abrams 54-45 in the November election and that get out the vote capability. The database is a big plus for Herschel Walker. So there’s that. Also, the Faith and Freedom Coalition is going door to door. So these are pluses.

Let’s talk about the negatives. The negatives, I think Rafael Warnock has outraised Hershel Walker like 3 to 1. $60 million to $20 million, something like that. And because, how do we say this? The Republican establishment and political operations don’t quite get it yet that it’s all about ballot harvesting, which means get those votes out early and often.

Again, reports are in Georgia that the Democrat get out the vote ballot harvesting machine is in full force. And right now Raphael Warnock and Democrats have a big lead over Herschel and he needs, at least according to one analysis, 60 percent of the vote on game day.

Gulbransen: I’m not going to guess at the name of one of our Tennessee congressmen, but it was one of them and it was one of the ones I really, really like. But he tweeted a few weeks ago, as long as it’s legal, why doesn’t the Right do that sort of thing?

Leahy: Let me just stop for a moment. And it could have been a tweet from Captain Obvious, right? Because here’s the deal. Mercifully, in Tennessee, we don’t do this vote by mail craziness and vote by mail as former President Jimmy Carter wrote in 2005, as part of a big commission, there’s no better opportunity for fraud than vote by mail.

This is known and yet many states allow for it and you can ballot harvest at various levels. Them is the rules, right? And if these are the rules and the other guys are playing by those rules and you’re not participating, it’s not going to go very well for your side.

Gulbransen: My old business partner, and he’s a nationally renowned election law attorney, his name is Chris Woodfin. We ran a zillion campaigns together and he had this phrase that he always liked to say when it came to any kind of election, the most important thing to know in the election are the votes and the rules.

Leahy: You have to know the rules. And each state has a different set of rules. If you live in Tennessee and where mercifully we don’t have these stupid vote by mail rules. It doesn’t do any good to whine about Arizona or Georgia where they can do vote by mail because thems the rules now.

Gulbransen: I do want to get into for a quick second, and this is a little educational issue here. We can talk about how weak Walker was as a Republican nominee till the day is long. But the biggest problem you have today in terms of motivating other than the Democrats owning the early voting, which a miracle could happen.

And maybe that is an incorrect assessment, but it looks like Democrats own the early voting. The motivation for Republicans is very hard to find. Because the control of the U.S. Senate is not up today. In order to motivate people to really go out to the polls, you have to spend gobs and gobs and gobs and gobs and gobs of money.

And in a race like this, I’m talking $250 million or you have to have a clear, obvious motivation. The obvious motivation could have been if a race had turned out differently in November, that this whole thing is about control of the U.S. Senate.

Leahy: But it’s not. It’s about how bad it’s going to be for Republicans. Because a 50-50 Senate is bad, but a 51-D and 49-R Senate is worse.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Raphael Warnock” by Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock. Photo “Herschel Walker” by Herschel Walker. Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0.



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