Georgia Senate Runoff: News Networks Say Democrat Warnock Will Defeat GoP's Walker

  • Updated

UPDATE: Several US news networks, including ABC and CNBC said Warnock will defeat Walker. The final tally will be available only later in the day.

Original Story: The crucial Georgia Senate runoff race has turned into a cliffhanger as expected with Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock holding a thin edge over Republican Herschel Walker when more than 50 percent of the votes are counted.

The Democrats have an edge in the Senate as Vice-President Kamala Harris can vote to break a tie in favor of them, but a win by Warnock will solidify the Democrats' position. The Republicans need a victory in their stronghold Georgia ahead of the start of the 2024 presidential races.

Rev. Raphael Warnock
Georgia Senator-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock Twitter/ReverendWarnock

Senate Powerplay

Warnock now leads Walker by 52 percent to 48 percent, Edison Research said. The final results will be available only by the evening. If Warnock wins, the Democrats will have a 51-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate. A Walker win will leave the Senate evenly balanced at 50-50 split.

The result in Georgia will be an indicator of former president Donald Trump's influence. A victory by Walker, whom Trump endorsed early on, will bolster Trump's 2024 presidential campaign.

In the early stage of the counting, Warnock had a huge lead but the tallies from rural areas gave Walker a clear edge.

"We should not rest on our laurels. The job is not done. The truth is my opponent could still win this election," said Warnock, a pastor at the historic Atlanta church.

Most Expensive

The runoff election was required after no candidate secured the 50 percent vote as per Georgia laws. Warnock had had more votes than Walker, with a majority of 37,000 votes, But he secured only 49.4 percent, failing to breach the 50 percent threshold.

Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker Twitter

The Senate race was one of the most expensive in Georgia's history, with Warnock's campaign spending about $170 million, easily eclipsing Walker's war chest of only $60 million. There was also record turnout in the election, with at least 1.9 million people casting the ballots before Election Day.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden
Donald Trump and Joe Biden Screen grab - Twitter

Both President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump did not campaign for the candidates, choosing to tread cautiously ahead of the presidential race. While Biden's popularity is on a low ebb, Trump suffered setbacks in the November mid-terms as key candidates he backed were defeated.