After 1.9 Million Votes, Warnock-Walker 2.0 Reaches Decision Day With Runoff

Date:

(Bloomberg) — Voters in Georgia will decide Tuesday whether to return Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democratic incumbent, to Washington for a full six-year term or instead choose Republican Herschel Walker in the second consecutive runoff for the seat in less than two years. years.

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Polls show Warnock has a slight lead over Walker, a former University of Georgia football star who was handpicked by former President Donald Trump. Neither man reached the 50% threshold needed to avoid the runoff in the Nov. 8 election, in part because of a third party that will not appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

Georgia’s secretary of state chief operating officer Gabriel Sterling said a record 154,176 early ballots had been accepted on Monday. Rainy weather could hamper election day turnout, which generally favors Republicans.

What to expect:

Polls indicate a tense battle with high turnout. That means that even though the polls close at 7 p.m. New York time, it could be some time before a winner is declared.

Warnock and his allies far outnumbered Walker and his supporters. Warnock and related groups spent $58 million to blitz Walker on the air. That compares to the $28.1 million Walker and his backers spent, according to AdImpact.

Walker made a brief stop Tuesday morning at the popular 24-hour Marietta Diner in suburban Cobb County, where he walked the perimeter and held hands with supporters as he deflected media questions about character, an issue that has dogged his campaign.

“Right now I’m going to pit my character against Raphael Warnock any day,” said Walker. “Atlanta is now showing that they don’t care about all that black and white. They care about votes.”

Trailing Walker was noted political consultant and former leader of the Christian coalition Ralph Reed, who told Bloomberg that Warnock’s allegations that Walker pressured former partners to have abortions and abuse an ex-wife were “gutter” politics that Georgians will reject.

Why it matters:

A better-than-expected midterm performance from the Democrats left President Joe Biden’s party in control of the 50-50 chamber with Vice President Kamala Harris’ casting vote. But a 51-seat majority would give Democrats an advantage on key committees and make it easier for Biden to make nominations, including within the judiciary.

Republicans, on the other hand, could use a moral victory after their lackluster midterm performance. They are also eager to demonstrate that Georgia is still a Republican state, as evidenced by the resounding reelection of GOP Governor Brian Kemp, and that 2020 was an anomaly. Both sides want to use the second round as momentum for the 2024 presidential campaign.

To take off:

A Democratic triumph would solidify Georgia’s metamorphosis from a Republican stronghold to the ultimate battlefield state. A loss in Warnock means Democrats there will have to redouble their efforts in 2024, especially as Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ victory in neighboring Florida has all but taken that state off the table.

In addition, holding the Senate portends a tougher slog for the Democrats in 2024 with West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Montana’s Jon Tester and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, all Democrats in GOP bastions, up for re-election.

(Updates with details of Walker on the trail in sixth paragraph)

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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