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Fact-checking the Georgia runoff election for Senate between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, face off in a debate in Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 14, 2022. (Screenshot) Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, face off in a debate in Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 14, 2022. (Screenshot)

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, face off in a debate in Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 14, 2022. (Screenshot)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher December 2, 2022

The lone undecided U.S. Senate midterm race, Georgia’s battle between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, goes to a runoff election Dec. 6.

The runoff is happening because neither candidate won 50% of the vote Nov. 8. It will be the fourth time in just over two years that Peach State voters will choose between Warnock and his GOP opponent in a general election. In a November 2020 special election, the race between Warnock and then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler went to a runoff, which Warnock won in January 2021.

If Warnock defeats Walker, it will be the first time since 1934 that any president in either party has seen all incumbent senators of his party win re-election. 

If Walker wins, it will leave the Senate split 50-50, but with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast tie-breaking votes.

Here’s a look at our Georgia Senate fact-checking since the midterm election.

Warnock highlights Walker’s comments on vampires and werewolves

A Warnock TV ad showed people reacting with dismay to three statements Walker made on the campaign trail. Our story fleshed out the context of the sound bites.

Walker spoke for several minutes about a werewolf and a vampire scene from a movie, saying he learned that a werewolf could kill a vampire. The ad left out how he tied the movie to his campaign. Walker said a vampire killer like the one in the movie needs to have faith in his methods to be successful, that people need faith in their elected officials and that God brought him to be a "warrior" in the election.

Telling a story about a bull who jumped a fence because he thought he would be with cows, only to find more bulls, Walker said his message was "don’t think something is better somewhere else. This is the greatest country in the world today."

Walker claimed that clean air from the U.S. "floated" to China and pushed China’s bad air to the U.S. A climate change expert told us that’s false.

Walker’s support from oil and gas industry

The League of Conservation Voters favors Warnock in the race, and on its website claimed that Walker "is heavily funded by the oil and gas industry, raking in more than $140,000 in donations from Big Oil and other energy interests."

Our ruling was Half True.

Donors from the oil and gas industry gave $190,000 to Walker’s campaign, less than 1% of $58 million in donations. Groups and people with oil and gas industry ties also donated to outside groups, including the Senate Leadership Fund, that have supported Walker.

Allegations of child abuse at camp run by Warnock’s church

In an ad, Walker said "Warnock’s camp was shut down for failing to report five findings of child abuse and neglect."

We rated Walker’s claim Half True.

Maryland state police in 2002 investigated child abuse allegations at a youth summer camp run by a Baltimore church. Warnock was the church’s pastor, but was not the camp director and was not the subject of the allegations.

A Maryland state agency denied the camp an annual operation permit for 2003. It did not cite findings of child abuse in ordering the shutdown.

The state cited several regulation violations in denying the permit, including that the camp "did not ensure that child abuse allegations or incidents are reported" as law requires. The camp reopened in 2004 after making corrections.

Walker’s position on abortion restrictions

Warnock claimed that Walker "wants a nationwide ban on abortion" and said no exceptions "not even for rape or incest or life of the mother."

Our ruling: Mostly True.

For most of the campaign, Walker supported a national ban on abortion. He also said there shouldn’t be exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother.

Late in his campaign, Walker said he supported two measures that included exceptions — a 2019 Georgia law and a proposal by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Walker has also said abortion rules should be decided at the state level, while supporting a nationwide ban.

Warnock’s positions on cash bail and releasing prison inmates

Walker claimed that Warnock "believes in no cash bail" and "letting people out of prison that are going to make us prisoners in our own home."

We rated Walker’s statement Mostly False.

Warnock does not support eliminating cash bail for all, but does back ending it for nonviolent offenders. 

Warnock does not support widespread releases of prison inmates, but he backed a law that reduces sentences for certain drug offenses.

RELATED: Herschel Walker’s record on the Truth-O-Meter

RELATED: Raphael Warnock’s record on the Truth-O-Meter 

RELATED: With Georgia’s race still undecided, a look at whether Democrats’ midterm Senate wins are historic

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Fact-checking the Georgia runoff election for Senate between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker