The final Senate contest of the 2022 midterm election will be finally decided Tuesday in Georgia when voters choose between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a high-stakes race to see if Democrats expand their razor-sharp power be able. narrow majority in the Chamber.
The candidates were forced into a runoff after neither Warnock, 53, nor Walker, 60, received more than 50% of the vote in the Nov. 8 midterm election
Ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, early voting in the Peach State set a series of daily records, and nearly 2 million ballots were already cast before Friday’s deadline.
Reflecting the vital importance of the race, spending by candidates and outside groups has reflected nearly $400 million, making it the most expensive contest in the 2022 election cycle, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets.org
According to a RealClear Politics poll average, Warnock has a lead of up to 5 percentage points over his political rival Walker, a former star running back at the University of Georgia, the USFL and the NFL.
Walker, who is backed by former President Donald Trump, has garnered strong support from national Republicans, with a number of high-profile lawmakers traveling to Georgia to campaign with him – including Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Cotton from Arkansas.
Trump was scheduled to hold a tele-rally for Walker Monday night.
Former President Barack Obama rallied with Warnock last week, but like Trump, Biden has not traveled to Georgia to campaign for the senator.
Democrats point to the big early vote as a benefit for Warnock, but Republicans are hoping a wave of GOP voters Tuesday can turn the tide for Walker.
A Warnock victory could give Democrats a 51-49 advantage in the Senate, a margin large enough to give Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer leeway to defeat West Virginia’s Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema Arizona, who have used their narrow majority to block some of Biden’s legislative agenda.
With 51 Democratic senators, Schumer could afford to lose the support of a member of his faction and still win votes.
If Walker wins, the 50-50 split in the upper chamber would remain as it has been for the past two years, with Democrats relying on Vice President Kamala Harris to cast crucial votes.
Republicans won a narrow majority in the House of Representatives in the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
Trump beat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by about 5 points in the 2016 Georgia presidential election, but lost to President Biden in 2020 by about less than a point.
But the 2020 Georgia election was crucial for Democrats, as both Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff clinched victories to give Democrats the 50-50 majority they have in the Senate.
Warnock, the pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, defeated incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler to become the first African American elected to the US Senate from Georgia.
But he was forced to seek re-election again this year because his victory over Loeffler was in a special election to end the remainder of Senator Johnny Isakson’s six-year term after he resigned in 2019 due to ill health.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/12/06/walker-warnock-vie-in-runoff-election-for-senate-in-georgia/ Walker and Warnock are running in the Georgia Senate runoff