Synopsis: U.S. Senate race in Georgia between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker is headed to a runoff after neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote.
Warnock vs Walker: Georgia U.S. Senate still too close to call, runoff likely
The Georgia Senate contest between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker is headed to a runoff after neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote.
As of noon Wednesday, with 100% of the votes counted, Warnock had 49.42% of the vote, while Walker had 48.52%. A majority is required by Georgia law to win statewide office. With partial returns indicating a close race with a third-party candidate on the ballot, it’s likely that neither Warnock nor Walker will face a runoff on December 6.
Here are results for the U.S. Senate race in Georgia. Click here to return to the master results list.
Walker, a celebrity athlete turned politician, had earlier expressed optimism to fans at his campaign’s election night party in suburban Atlanta.
“I don’t come to lose,” Walker mentioned this in his brief remarks.
Warnock, a Baptist pastor, spoke to supporters later in the evening but avoided saying much. He added that they were aware that the race would be close, but that “it wasn’t over.” “Keep the faith and keep looking up,” he said at the end of his speech.
“I understand that at this late hour you may be a little tired,” the senator continued, “but whether it’s later tonight or tomorrow or four weeks from now, we will hear from the people of Georgia.”
A runoff campaign would be a four-week blitz that, depending on the results of other Senate races, might re-enact the 2020 election cycle, in which two Senate runoffs in Georgia doubled as a national winner-take-all war for Senate control. With Victories from Warnock and Ossoff , the chamber was split 50-50 between the two major parties, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote for Democrats.
A runoff would mean another month of Warnock blasting Walker, who is running for the first time, as unqualified, and Walker blasting Warnock as a rubber stamp for the White House.
“Raphael Warnock votes with Joe Biden 96% of the time,” Walker has repeatedly warned voters. “He’s forgotten about Georgia’s people.”
Walker is “not ready” and “not suited” for high office, according to Warnock, who is also the senior preacher at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. That’s a reference to Walker’s troubled background, which includes charges of domestic violence against his ex-wife and claims by two women Walker once dated that he encouraged and paid for their abortions despite his stated opposition to abortion rights.
In the face of generational high inflation and Biden’s waning popularity in Georgia, Warnock wants voters to make a local decision rather than a national referendum on Democrats as a whole. Warnock, Georgia’s first Black senator, positions himself as a pragmatic who strikes bargains with Republicans when they’re willing and promotes Democratic-backed cost-cutting measures when they’re not. Warnock lists one of his main accomplishments as controlling the cost of insulin and other drugs for Medicare enrollees.
“I’ll work with anybody to get things done for the people of Georgia,” Warnock said.
Walker, for his part, denies ever paying for an abortion. And, while ignoring a slew of other stories — documented exaggerations of his business record, academic achievements, and philanthropic activities; publicly acknowledging three additional children during the campaign only after media reports on their existence — Walker emphasises his Christian faith and claims his life is a story of “redemption.”
The Republican nominee has campaigned as a cultural and fiscal conservative in the face of what he terms “foolishness.” Walker, who is also Black, promises to “bring people together” while portraying Warnock as a divisive character on race and equality issues. Walker’s assault is justified by excerpts from Warnock’s sermons in which the pastor-senator discusses institutional racism.
Republicans tried similar methods to defeat Warnock in his runoff victory on January 5, 2021. Warnock won by around 95,000 votes out of 4.5 million ballots.
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