AUSTIN, Texas - Voters in Georgia will decide the country's final Senate contest. The race is between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.
Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, and Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County Republican Party, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.
MIKE WARREN: Katie, beginning with you. Who do you think's going to win this and why?
KATIE NARANJO: Looks like Reverend Warnock is going to be leading going into Election Day. It'll be really interesting to see those first initial returns after 7:00 from early voting. They'll give us a clear indicator on how the night's going to go. But, you know, it's the Democrats seat to lose. And that means Democrats can't take any voter or any community for granted and that we can't just be complacent. We have to actually show up and vote in the runoff.
MIKE WARREN: Matt Mackowiak does Herschel Walker have a chance to win here.
MATT MACKOWIAK: Yeah. I think there's a chance. I agree, though I think we're not will not only be ahead in early voting, but also I think is probably the narrow front-runner at this stage. He was ahead in November. And Herschel Walker doesn't have the benefit of Brian Kemp, the incoming Republican governor who won by a pretty sweeping margin over election in Iowa, Stacey Abrams So, you know, going after different races, they have different turnouts to hold on different days. In this case, this is the only race on the ballot. And so it is going to be a ground game. It is about turnout. I think you had 2 million votes cast in early voting. I do expect it to be close, but Herschel is going to have to win Election Day by a pretty significant margin, probably 60%.
MIKE WARREN: Katie If Warnock wins. How does that impact the U.S. Senate, US Senate, if at all?
KATIE NARANJO: It actually has significant implications. Just that one seat. Would the change the committee makeups? For instance, how many Democrats or Republicans are seated on each of the committees? It would also dilute Senator Mansion's influence when it comes to budgetary decisions climate change, abortion rights, etc.. So more a win here in Georgia for Democrats would have a significant application for policy as well as the procedure of how the Senate is run.
MIKE WARREN: Matt Mackowiak, Do you agree that as far as how this result is going to impact the Senate?
MATT MACKOWIAK: I do. It's a little bit inside baseball for most people to follow. I served for four years as a press secretary in the US Senate or understand how the Senate works. Katie's correct. One is it affects committee met committee make up in terms of whether it's 50, 59, nine or ten eight which matters because committees can committees have to have a majority, an absolute majority to issue subpoenas. So that's important. It also is important for the reasons she identified related to Joe Manchin and also to Kristen Cinema, who have not always been on board with everything the Democratic Democrats in the Senate want to do. So those are meaningful things. Of course, the Senate considers Supreme Court justices other judicial nominations and cabinet, and you could have a number of Cabinet changes here, perhaps at Treasury, perhaps with Homeland Security and a couple other places here in the next few months. So it is a consequential Senate seat. We've seen how important these individual seats are.
MIKE WARREN: Okay. All right. Well, the voters in Georgia are going to decide today. We got to wrap it up. Katie, Matt, thank you both very much.