The panel

Kevin Riley, @ajceditor, editor-in-chief, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kurt Young, professor of political science, Clark Atlanta University

Leo Smith, @leosmithtweets, GOP consultant and CEO, Engaged Futures

State Sen. Sonya Halpern, @sonya4ga, (D) Atlanta


The breakdown

1. A new poll from Emerson College shows Sen. Raphael Warnock ahead of Herschel Walker, within the margin of error.

  • The race was the closest contest in November's midterms, where Republicans otherwise swept statewide races.
  • Emerson reports Warnock at 49% and Walker at 47% with a margin of error at 4%.
  • Some voters are waiting hours to cast their ballot. Voting groups, like college students, that turn out early can be depressed by long lines.

LISTEN: Kurt Young on young voter turnout.

2. Former President Barack Obama campaigns for Warnock in Georgia today.

  • Obama also campaigned here during the general election.
  • Michelle Obama joined the effort, recording two robocalls for the Warnock campaign.
  • Other political influencers aren't as thrilled with this election. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a high-profile anti-Trump Republican, called the ballot "the most disappointing ballot" of his life.

LISTEN: Kevin Riley on Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.

3. Georgia's House and Senate are seeing new, diverse coalitions of legislators.

  • The legislature has new caucuses of Hispanic and Asian American Georgians, in addition to strengthening Georgia's Legislative Black Caucus.

LISTEN: State Sen. Sonya Halpern on diversity in the legislature reflecting Georgians.

4. The first bill has been pre-filed ahead of the 2023 legislative session.

  • Written as a response to the state's abortion restrictions, it would offer compensation for women who would have sought abortion access, but could not under Georgia law.
  • The bill faces extreme odds in its passage, but it forecasts what the legislature could focus on next year.

LISTEN: State Sen. Sonya Halpern and Leo Smith discuss House Bill 1's impact.

Friday on Political Rewind: GPB's Riley Bunch and former columnist Jim Galloway join the panel.