Live from Music Row, Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tea Party Patriots Action Honorary Chairman Jenny Beth Martin to the newsmaker line to comment upon the Georgia Senate runoff election and the importance for Republicans to get out the vote.
Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our newsmaker line a very good friend for many years, one of the early founders of the Tea Party Movement, Jenny Beth Martin, the Honorary Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action. Good morning, Jenny Beth!
Martin: So good to be with you.
Leahy: Jenny Beth, you have lived in Georgia for many, many years and are very familiar with the politics down there. There’s this runoff election between Herschel Walker and Senator Raphael Warnock right now. Next Tuesday coming up, and it’s going to be very, very tight. What do you see happening down in Georgia in that race?
Martin: Right now, what we see happening is that so far, according to early voting numbers, more likely Democrat voters have been voting early than Republican voters. So we really need people who are Republicans to go vote and people who are likely Republicans to go vote. If you have family in Georgia or friends, make sure that they are going to vote.
Today is the last day of early voting and there will be voting on Election day. The lines for early voting have been extraordinarily long because you’re taking what is normally a three-week early voting period, and it has been condensed in most places around the seat into a six-day period.
I used to live in Georgia up until May and I moved to Florida at the end of May. It’s my opinion people have seen those long lines and thought, oh, I can wait until Election Day when there will be 2,000 or so precincts open and the lines will be shorter rather than standing in a one or two-hour line this week.
That could be part of why there are some people on the Republican side who have not yet voted, but we really need them to go vote. This is an important seat. It is a six-year term. A lot of people are fixated on the fact that it won’t make a difference who has the majority in the Senate in the next two years. And that is true.
But it makes a difference for the end of Biden’s presidential term and whoever is President for the next four years. What happens right now could determine the Senate majority from 2025 to 2027 and then the next term after that is very, very important for people vote.
Leahy: Yes. Very significant insight on your part. I have to say this though, I think I’ve seen this movie before and I don’t like the outcome. Democrats jam in an early vote and then Republicans vote on Election Day and magically the voting machines have problems and there are issues there. Is there anything that we can see that gives us some hope that Herschel Walker has a good chance of winning here?
Martin: Yes. Let me say something about that. I understand and if you look at what happened in Arizona, it is very alarming. I can see that in Georgia, first, we did not have the same problems during the general election a month ago. So that is a good thing. The other thing is that Arizona does things differently than Georgia.
They print the ballot and you have to, I think, hand filled out the ballot, and then you take that printed hand filled out ballot and insert it into the scanner. In Georgia, you touch a screen to determine who you’re going to vote for.
Then you print a ballot. Each voter prints their own individual ballot, and we just haven’t had the same issues Arizona had. So that is good. You could still have problems, but we see no indication that that would happen in Georgia.
I hear it’s a difference in Georgia. Historically speaking, the incumbent, if they go to a runoff for the United States Senate, historically speaking, they lose. Whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican, historically speaking, the incumbent loses.
Not always, but generally speaking. Senator Warnock was the only statewide Democrat on the ballot who is an incumbent on the ballot is the only one that went to a runoff in Georgia. So all the other reasons statewide were held by Republican incumbents, and they did not go to a runoff. Hershel forced Warnock into a runoff, and that is significant.
Leahy: We’re getting a little interference from probably one of those agencies out of Washington. There’s a little buzz in the background, but what you’re saying is so important, we’re going to stick through it here. And let me ask you this question. Brian Kemp who easily defeated Stacey Abrams 54-45 is helping Hershel would get out the vote. How significant will that be?
Martin: I think it’s very significant. I think that there were people who voted for Kemp and then they did not vote for Hershel for whatever reason. And those particular people need to understand that voting for Herschel helps Kemp in Georgia.
It reinforces what Kemp is trying to do at a state level in the Senate. And so I think that it’s very important. Kemp has a great political machine in Georgia. He’s using that to help Hershel. And four years ago, Herschel helped him get elected in the campaign for Kemp.
Leahy: Very good point. Jenny Beth Martin, our very good friend, the honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action. Jenny Beth, I don’t know, one of these alphabet-soup agencies is probably attempting to disrupt our call, so we’re going to end right now.
But, Jenny, thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate your insights, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. (Dial tone) All right, there we go. Crom, your thoughts.
Carmichael: She made some really good points, and she’s the closest thing to what among the three of us, certainly knowing what’s going on in Georgia, because she lived there.
Martin: She lived there for years.
Carmichael: And you’ve got The Georgia Star News down there. But let me say this. If Brian Kemp, if his influence cannot get Herschel Walker successfully over the finish line I’ve heard that Brian Kemp is thinking about running for president.
Leahy: Of course he is.
Carmichael: He’s thinking about it. But if you can’t get Herschel Walker over the finish line in his own state, then that indicates that he would not be a good choice as the Republicans should.
Leahy: There’s one other element here. Apparently, Herschel Walker is being outraised dramatically in terms of money.
Carmichael: That’s true as long as you’ve got all these government employee unions that are throwing enormous amounts of money at Democrats in their own little clever little ways. And so the only point I’m making is that Kemp, the incumbent Republican governor who is now openly saying that he is helping Herschel Walker, if he’s unsuccessful in doing that, then it indicates a significant weakness on behalf of Governor Kemp.
If he’s able to succeed, it’s a feather in his hat and a good thing it shows some strength. So what I’m saying is by publicly coming out and saying he’s helping Hershel Walker, he’s put his own reputation online.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Jenny Beth Martin” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Election Day 2020” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.