WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock has won against Republican challenger Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate runoff.
- This gives the Democrats their 51st seat in the Senate, expanding from the previous 50-50.
- Warnock got over 37,000 votes more than Walker in the midterms but they both failed to earn 50 percent of the votes.
The Georgia Senate runoff has ended in a victory for incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, expanding the Democrats’ Senate majority to 51 seats.
The victory for Democrats will help ease the procedural burden of the previous 50-50 Senate.
Warnock first won the seat in a 2021 runoff, becoming the state’s first Black senator. The pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church was a first-time candidate in 2020.
In the midterm elections, Warnock got over 37,000 votes more than Republican challenger Herschel Walker. But they both failed to earn the necessary 50 percent of the votes, leading to a four-week runoff.
Walker, a former pro football star, counted on Warnock being tied down by President Joe Biden’s dropping popularity. But Walker experienced a similar popularity drop after several scandals, particularly over allegations of domestic violence and inflations of his academic record.
This fall, two ex-girlfriends claimed that Walker paid for their abortion procedures. Walker denied the allegations and reiterated his anti-abortion stance. In the days leading up to the runoff, reports surfaced of Walker claiming a homestead exemption in Texas in 2021 and 2022. He had spent decades in Texas before moving back to Georgia last year.
Warnock called attention to these scandals and remarked that Walker is unfit for office.
Kemp later helped boost Walker’s runoff campaign, but it wasn’t enough.
Warnock vowed to ramp up his campaign for the runoff more than for the midterms, and he ultimately outspent Walker in the runoff.
He directly campaigned to about 200,000 split-ticket voters who voted for him and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in the midterms. Warnock also showcased his bipartisan policy work, which includes a $35 monthly insulin cost cap proposal. Backed by Democrat organizations, he also inspired an impressive turnout.