By David Mark Greaves
As the Early Voting period in Atlanta, Georgia, for the Senatorial race between Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker begins, we spoke with transplanted Brooklyn businessman Jim Welcome at his long-time home in Atlanta about what he has seen so far in the race.
Welcome said that turnout was extremely heavy at his polling place in the high-end Midtown Atlanta district. “We got there at 6:30 am, and by the time the polls opened at 7, the line was around the building. And we were not first; there were 20-30 people ahead of us.”
He described the ethnic breakdown as about 60-40%, with Blacks being the sixty and mostly whites comprising the 40% along with Asians. Age-wise he saw a mix of primarily folks fifty and over with a number of young people as well. “It was an interesting mix of people.”
He said about the intensity of the voting, “It was heavier than I’ve ever seen in a runoff. Normally in a runoff, you can walk right up and out. This was like a general election.”
Mr. Welcome was uncertain if high turnout was good or bad for Warnock, but he said, “the Black base is very stirred up. When they look at Herschel Walker, his whole being is presented as a ‘buffoon.’”
He described the new Warnock commercial of reaction clips of Herschel Walker’s statements about “Bad air” coming from China and “our good air” going there. And then there’s the story about the bull and the three cows. Welcome, said his Republican mechanic, who’s Caucasian, said, “Jim, I saw the commercial last night, and I can’t vote for Herschel Walker; I’m not doing it.”
In the 26 counties surrounding Atlanta, “the Black vote is coming out, not at the level that we would have liked, but much heavier than in previous Primary elections.”
After seeing the Warnock campaign ad highlighting Walker’s gaffes, in Welcome’s opinion, “anybody predisposed to vote for Walker, after seeing this ad, would say, ‘No, this guy representing me? No.’”
We’ve seen the ad on YouTube, and have to agree with Welcome’s assessment. I don’t think anyone could watch it and still hold their nose tight enough to vote for the football player as U.S. Senator.