If it’s WEDNESDAY… President Biden heads to Fort Myers, Fla., to inspect the damage from Hurricane Ian… Donald Trump asks Supreme Court to intervene in Mar-a-Lago case… New Mason-Dixon poll shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ahead by double digits among likely voters, per NBC’s Marc Caputo… Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., raises $2 million in the last quarter, NBC’s Sahil Kapur reports… Republican Jen Kiggans raises more than $1 million in VA-2… Mandela Barnes hauls in more than $20 million in WI-SEN, per CNN… And the Cook Political Report moves PA-SEN back to Toss Up.
But FIRST… Winning is the only thing.
That's the unmistakable message that Republicans and anti-abortion groups sent on Tuesday, when they closed ranks behind GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker after The Daily Beast reported that Walker urged an ex-girlfriend to have an abortion -- and reimbursed her for the procedure.
Some of these Republicans echoed Walker's denial; others implied the denial didn't even matter.
"We are full speed ahead in Georgia. This election is about the future of the country - Herschel Walker will make things better, Raphael Warnock is making it worse,” said Steven Law, the president of the Mitch McConnell-allied Senate Leadership Fund, a GOP Super PAC.
“Anything else is a distraction,” he added.
“We’ve seen this movie before,” the prominent social conservative Ralph Reed told the New York Times, saying that he’s “100 percent” sure evangelical Christians will stand behind Walker.
Yesterday morning, we observed that – after Donald Trump and “Access Hollywood” – it was likely that the abortion allegation wouldn’t end Walker’s campaign, like it would have done a decade ago.
But that’s VERY different from saying the allegation doesn’t matter, especially when almost every vote matters in our polarized politics. After all, we’ve seen damaging revelations (including those even more damaging than the current abortion allegation against Walker) affecting electoral outcomes.
In 2017, we saw Republican Roy Moore lose a general election – in Alabama.
This year, we saw Madison Cawthorn and Eric Greitens lose GOP primaries.
And even in 2016, “Access Hollywood” did plenty of damage to Donald Trump; it’s just that that campaign ended on James Comey’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, not on Trump’s past.
Scandals, damaging revelations and past behavior have mattered.