Herschel Walker hasn’t answered reporters’ questions in nearly two months

Republican candidate Herschel Walker has not taken questions from reporters on the trail in nearly two months as the Georgia Senate race sets to conclude in a runoff next week.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mr Walker’s last conversation with reporters was in early October. It remains unclear if he will gaggle with journalists again on the trail before the race concludes on 6 December. The Independent has reached out to a Walker campaign spokesperson for comment.

Mr Walker’s campaign remains beset by scandal and mistrust; The Daily Beast and other news organisations have reported that amid a barrage of stories about secret children and the pro-life candidate having supposedly funded an abortion his own staff now do not trust Mr Walker to make honest statements about his past.

He trailed Senator Raphael Warnock in an intitial round of voting last month and by all credible indications appears poised to fall further behind the Democrat next week without the buoying effect of other, more popular Republican candidates on the ballot. Many polls showed Mr Walker leading into the first round of voting in November; in actuality, he trailed the Democrat by one percentage point when all votes were counted.

Now, Mr Walker heads into next week’s runoff decisively outraised by his opponent and facing a new poll from the AARP showing him several points behind.

His defeat in Georgia would mean that Democrats head into January with an expanded majority, a prospect that Republicans were dismissing out of hand as recently as the morning of Election Day earlier this month. Mr Walker’s performance has already been part of a massive disappointment for the GOP, which had supporters expecting a “red wave” that fizzled instead into a razor-thin House majority and a potentially resounding loss in the Senate.

Former President Barack Obama plans to campaign for Mr Warnock in Georgia as the races winds down, while Mr Walker has not seen his own reinforcements materialise; some national Republicans like Senator Lindsey Graham are supporting him, but former President Donald Trump has notably not stopped in the state as he did last-minute for JD Vance in Ohio prior to his victory over Rep Tim Ryan in that state’s Senate race.

Some have speculated that Mr Trump is shying away from the Georgia race due to his fears that Mr Walker will lose and his distaste for being associated with defeated candidates.

As he battles fallout from his meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago, the former president continues to insist that his selections of untested political newcomers, many 2020 election deniers, in key races around the country did not contribute to the GOP’s dismal 2022 midterms performance.

Mr Trump’s association with the concept of “winning” and his efforts to distance himself from the Republican Party’s shoddy election showing are key to his bid to remain essentially in control of the party and larger conservative movement, as well as his bid to retake the presidency in 2024.