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Herschel Walker tests his party’s patience with his own words: The Note


The TAKE with Rick Klein

By keeping his party united behind him, Herschel Walker is the beneficiary of years of battles fought by others – media battles against congressional candidates, Supreme Court justices and, of course, former President Donald Trump. .

But Walker himself may pose the biggest challenge here to efforts to keep the GOP behind his Georgia Senate bid.

In the days after his latest scandal broke – when he denied a report that he paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion in 2009 – he made incomplete statements in his defense and n didn’t sue The Daily Beast as he promised.

“the left” saying he believed the latest allegations.

Thursday brings Walker’s first public event in days, a “Unite Georgia” bus stop where it will be harder to avoid questions from the press.

Prominent Georgia Republicans have been significantly less quick to vouch for his version of events on this or other issues, even as they stand with him as their only chance at this point in a pivotal state. Many Walker supporters interviewed by ABC News this week in Georgia say they don’t care enough about his past actions to rethink their choice.

One thing that might help Walker is that he’s been there before – fighting the allegations, making denials, and even confusing things with what he said. “There may not be many voters left to turn on Walker” in a state with few true “swing” voters, writes FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich.

Still, it’s more than conceivable that Walker will win his race against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. That remains the hope of Republicans — with the trust placed in Walker to execute the same game plan that got him to this point.

Georgia Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Herschel Walker takes part in his Unite Georgia Bus Tour in Forsyth, Georgia on September 29, 2022.

Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

The OPEC+ alliance’s decision to cut oil production in November to support prices could be a blow to President Joe Biden and Democrats more broadly as the nation nears midterm elections and the ruling party hopes to keep domestic gas prices and other costs down.

The alliance is expected to cut production quotas by two million barrels a day, which could lead to higher prices at the pump for Americans who are already struggling to meet the high costs of inflation and other forces.

The OPEC+ news comes after Biden’s summer trip to the Middle East during which he urged leaders in the region to increase production to cut costs – which has been a major drag on the ratings. President’s approval.

The spike in costs would run counter to the White House’s midterm messaging touting lower gas prices and progress in the continued fight against inflation via legislative victories like the Fuel Cut Act. inflation.

Administration officials on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction with the oil group’s decision.

“The President is disappointed with OPEC+’s short-sighted decision to cut production quotas as the global economy grapples with the continued negative impact of [Vladimir] Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement from National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese.

The White House has said 10 million barrels of oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be released next month, a tactic that could help keep prices low. But if that effort fails, it could spell trouble for Democrats just before the votes are counted in a crucial election.

PHOTO: An OPEC flag is displayed on the day of the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna, Austria, October 5, 2022.

An OPEC flag is displayed on the day of the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna, Austria, October 5, 2022.

Lisa Leutner/Reuters

The COUNCIL with Alisa Wiersema

Incumbent Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin and Republican Senator Tom Barrett are set to face off Thursday night in their final debate of the midterm season after previously facing off on stage last month.

Thursday’s debate comes a week after early voting opened to Michigan voters who requested mail-in ballots and puts one of the nation’s most competitive congressional districts in the spotlight following the census-mandated map redesign.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the new boundaries for Michigan’s 7th district — where Slotkin and Barrett are campaigning — have narrowed slightly to a +4 Republican partisan bias from its +6 partisan bias in 2020. Although Slotkin has already served two terms in a district that had a higher Republican leaning, it remains to be seen whether national policy issues surrounding abortion and the economy impact the race.

Meanwhile, in another redesigned and competitive seat, Slotkin’s fellow Democrat, Elaine Luria of Virginia, faces the opposite problem when it comes to partisan leanings. Virginia’s 2nd District – where Luria has served since 2019 – was once more evenly divided, with a +2 Republican lean in 2020, which dropped to a +6 lean as the district expanded further west. after the recut. As evidenced by the continued successes of the Republican National Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund that tie Luria to Biden, the slight shift could give the GOP hope of claiming the district this fall due to shifting national sentiments. .

The redistricting could provide a better chance for Democrats in Texas’ 34th District, although it is held by Republican Representative Mayra Flores, who won the deep blue zone in a special election earlier this year. Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez — who currently represents the 15th neighbor — is running in place of retired Rep. Filemon Vela, whose vacancy opened the doors to victory for Flores.

The race now pits two House incumbents against each other, but the Democratic +17 partisan lean could complicate the sprint to November.

PHOTO: Representative Elissa Slotkin delivers remarks in Howell, Michigan on October 5, 2021.

Representative Elissa Slotkin delivers remarks in Howell, Michigan on October 5, 2021.

Sipa USA via AP, FILE

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. “Start Here” begins Thursday morning with new reports from Florida as President Biden sees the devastation of Hurricane Ian on the ground. ABC’s Mary Bruce takes us on. Next, ABC’s Alexis Christoforous explains the significance of OPEC+’s decision to cut oil production. And, ABC’s Steve Osunsami explains why homeschooling has grown in popularity, especially among black families. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

Power trigger

Hulu

Power trigger

“Power Trip” follows 7 young reporters as they pursue pre-term candidates with George Stephanopoulos guiding them along the way.

ONE MORE THING

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams said she has lingering doubts about the fairness of the votes in her upcoming rematch with incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, telling ABC News in a new interview that she “wouldn’t call question the outcome of the election” but would continue to “question the process.” During a meeting with ABC News Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott, which airs Oct. 9 on Hulu’s “Power Trip,” Abrams said, “I’ve always recognized the election result. deeply concerned is the confusion of access to the right to vote and the outcome of the elections.” https://abcn.ws/3M9Qjvv

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Biden visits IBM at 1:20 p.m. ET before delivering a speech on jobs at 2 p.m. ET. He then heads to Red Bank New Jersey for a Democratic fundraiser at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Arizona Senate candidates Mark Kelly, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Blake Masters, participate in a debate at 9 p.m. ET.

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The Note is a daily feature of ABC News that highlights the top political stories of the day. Please check Friday for the latest.



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