Georgia Senate Race Too Close To Call, Will Go to Run-Off Election That May Decide Control of the Senate

Georgia is headed for a Senate runoff election for the second time in three years.  Under Georgia law, a runoff election is held where neither candidate has exceeded 50% of the total vote.  Incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock is at 49.4% of the vote, while Republican challenger Herschel Walker is at 48.5% of the vote.

Warnock won a runoff election against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler in 2020, the same day that Democratic Senator John Ossoff won a runoff against Republican incumbent David Perdue after Perdue led Ossoff 49.9% to 49.7% in the general election.   Warnock’s victory was critical to establish the Democrat’s current 50-50 majority in the Senate.

Warnock may now be involved in a second race critical to determining which party controls the U.S. Senate.  As of this writing, there remain close ongoing Senate races in Arizona and Nevada.  If the Democratic candidates win both races, the Senate chamber would be split 50-50, and the Democrats would have control due to Vice President Harris’s tie-breaking vote.  If Republicans win both races, they will have a 51-49 majority.  However, if Arizona and Nevada split with one Democratic senator and one Republican senator, the runoff in Georgia will determine which party has majority control.

The circumstances of the runoff election are somewhat different this time, thanks to a significant voter suppression bill subsequently passed by Georgia’s Republican congress.  This bill reduces the time between the general and runoff elections and greatly restricts early voting.   The runoff election will be held on December 6, less than a month away.