Central Oregon DailyWarnock, Walker advance to runoff for Senate seat in Georgia

Warnock, Walker advance to runoff for Senate seat in Georgia

Warnock, Walker advance to runoff for Senate seat in Georgia

Raphael Warnock Herschel Walker

ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker will meet in a Dec. 6 runoff in Georgia after neither reached the general election majority required under state law.

It’s the second time in the last two election cycles that a Georgia runoff could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.

That sets up a four-week blitz that again will test whether voters are more concerned about inflation under Democratic control of Washington or the Republican candidate’s rocky past.

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There weren’t enough outstanding votes left to count in Georgia to push Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock over the 50% threshold he needed. That deficit is what led AP to determine the race is headed to a runoff.

A runoff is nothing new to Warnock. He won his runoff against then-Senator Kelly Loeffler in 2020. That victory along with a separate runoff victory for the other Senate seat in Georgia, helped give Democrats a narrow majority.

As of Wednesday morning, Democrats had a chance to at least secure a 50-50 split in the Senate even without winning Georgia. Democrats were projected to win at least 48 seats and races in Arizona and Nevada had still not been called. 

With a 50-50 split, Democrats would have control of the chamber because Vice President Kamala Harris, serving as Senate President, would have the tie-breaking vote on any simple majority bills.

Warnock styles himself as a pragmatist in a partisan era. Walker has tried to make the choice a referendum on national Democrats, caricaturing Warnock as a rubber-stamp for President Joe Biden amid sustained inflation.

The general election campaign was rife with vitriol over Walker’s past. It included accusations that he encouraged a former girlfriend to have a 2009 abortion, for which he allegedly paid.

Avoiding attacks on Walker in the summer and early fall, Warnock stepped up his strikes in the closing weeks. Walker, who supports a national ban on abortion, called the allegations “foolishness.”

Central Oregon Daily News contributed to this report.

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