Georgia runoff underway as Warnock and Walker battle for Senate seat

Yahoo Finance’s Rick Neman joins the Live show to discuss the expectations for Georgia’s final Senate contest as Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker go head to head.

Video Transcript

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BRAD SMITH: Well, switching gears here. Georgia voters, they are set to decide on the final Senate contest in the country today. As Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, they go head-to-head in the final hours with Warnock showing a slight lead.

Now, here to break down what to expect from either outcome, we've got Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman. Rick, excuse my skepticism of some of the polls here at this point in time. But when you think about what the polls are showing us versus what we expect the outcome to be like, and what that means for either party here?

RICK NEWMAN: I appreciate your skepticism. I share it, in fact. The polls show or suggest that Raphael Warnock, the Democrat, is ahead. And I don't know, poss-- has a better shot of winning. I'm not sure I want to say likely to win. And that actually does fit with Democrats overperforming in the midterms during, you know, that wrapped up on November 8 and the days afterward.

But you're right, anything could happen. And runoffs are weird. It depends a lot on turnout. I think that those turnout issues actually favor the Democrat rather than the Republican because people are not coming out to vote for the Republican governor anymore, Brian Kemp. So that could keep some Republicans at home.

But this actually does matter. People might think-- now, the Democrats already have at least 50 votes, 50 members in the Senate. And they have the Vice President Kamala Harris who can break a tie. But there's a difference between a 50/50 Senate with a tiebreaker on votes and one party actually having a majority of the members.

First of all, when it's 50/50, they actually have kind of a power sharing deal with the other party in terms of committee assignments, they're 50/50. They share the-- they share budgets 50/50. And anything that's not an ordinary vote on legislation, such as whether to subpoena somebody, that has to-- that would require a vote from both parties to get over a deadlock.

If you have 51/49, you control all the committees. You control-- you have a much-- the majority party has a bigger budget. You don't need the minority party to do things like decide what to hold a hearing on or whom to subpoena. You're not gonna get tied up-- it makes it easier to appoint judges and other people like that. So in terms of the functioning of Congress and some things that might happen during the next years, it does make a difference.

JULIE HYMAN: And that explains, I guess, why so much money has been poured into this race, right?

RICK NEWMAN: Yup.

JULIE HYMAN: I mean, is it record setting? Or it's a lot?

RICK NEWMAN: I don't know, if-- it's probably not record setting. But it's-- I think it's close to 100 mill-- what's the number here? $100 billion. No, wait, million sorry.

JULIE HYMAN: It had to be-- it would have to be million. A billion would be--

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah. Yeah. 100 million, sorry.

JULIE HYMAN: That would be impressive.

RICK NEWMAN: I mean, it's a lot of money.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah.

RICK NEWMAN: And as usual in these big races, a lot of it's coming from outside--

JULIE HYMAN: Right.

RICK NEWMAN: --which tells you that a lot is at stake on this race. And it could not be $100 billion.

BRIAN SOZZI: Rick, handicap is for us. If Herschel Walker were to win, what's the read through to former President Trump's run?

RICK NEWMAN: I think that's a great question. It would be a little bit of a resurgence for Trump, who has endorsed Walker. And you could even say that he helped Walker become the nominee by backing him in the primaries. Which is one of the problems we've seen with some of the Trump candidates is they can get nominated in the primaries, but they-- then many of them turn out to be so extreme that they really don't have a chance in the general election.

Trump's political capital is quickly fading. So put it-- if you flip it the other way, if Herschel Walker loses it's yet another example, and a big one in a Senate race, not just 1 of 435 in the House, of a candidate who got through the primaries and then turned out to be too extreme in what used to be a red state.

JULIE HYMAN: I mean, I think it's safe to say-- I think I can say this without being biased-- he's a deeply problematic candidate.

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah. Yeah, he is. I mean, he's got personal issues with abortions he's been involved in with girlfriends. We-- you know, he's strictly pro-life and he favors strict abortion bans. And yet, he apparently has been involved with girlfriends urging them to have abortions. I mean, this has been a big controversy.

He-- there are questions about whether he even lives in Georgia. I mean, he's been a resident of Texas for much of the last 10 or 20 years.

JULIE HYMAN: The Oz effect.

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, right. So but as Brad pointed out at the beginning, just don't believe the polls. Just wait until we have an actual outcome.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah, there was also a former romantic partner of his in an interview saying that he committed domestic violence against her. So there's--

RICK NEWMAN: Great.

JULIE HYMAN: --a long list.

RICK NEWMAN: [AWKWARD LAUGH]

JULIE HYMAN: All right.

RICK NEWMAN: And by the way, none of that really is a problem with Warnock. He's pretty squeaky clean.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah.

BRAD SMITH: A pastor actually.

RICK NEWMAN: And he's a pastor.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes, indeed.

BRAD SMITH: [LAUGHS] Yeah.

RICK NEWMAN: Right.

JULIE HYMAN: All right, thanks. [LAUGHS] That's not always and--

BRAD SMITH: It's not always. It is not always. Yes, that's a fair point.

JULIE HYMAN: Yes.

BRAD SMITH: Yeah.

JULIE HYMAN: All right, thanks so much, Rick. Appreciate it.