POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Georgia Senate race will go to a runoff

Nov 9, 2022, 12:30 PM

Side by side image of Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock, the candidates for U.S. Senate running i...

Republican candidate for US Senate Herschel Walker (L) and Senator Raphael Warnock are locked in a too-early-to-call Georgia Senate race. (John Bazemore/AP via CNN)

(John Bazemore/AP via CNN)

Originally Published: 09 NOV 22 01:11 ET
Updated: 09 NOV 22 12:37 ET

(CNN) — The Senate contest in Georgia will advance to a runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

Neither candidate surpassed the 50% threshold to win the race outright on Tuesday. Depending on the outcome of Senate races in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada, voters in Georgia could then — for the second consecutive election cycle — have the Senate majority in their hands.

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That the race was so tight underscores the prevalence of ticket-splitters in Georgia this year. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp comfortably defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, CNN projected, but Walker has lagged Kemp’s margin all night, while Warnock has outpaced Abrams.

In brief remarks on Tuesday night, Walker asked supporters gathered in a hotel ballroom to “hang in there a little bit longer.”

“I’m telling you right now — I didn’t come to lose,” Walker said.

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Warnock joked to CNN on Monday night about a potential run-off campaign.

“I think that there is bipartisan agreement that we (would) rather not have politics and Thanksgiving mixed together,” Warnock said.

Both candidates are expected to speak later Wednesday, aides said, with specific plans still in flux.

Top officials from the Democratic and Republican parties also told CNN they intend to double down on their significant investments in Georgia, with an increasing assumption that control of the Senate could hinge on the outcome of a December runoff.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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Georgia Senate race will go to a runoff