What you need to know about Georgia Senate runoff

The midterms aren’t over yet in Georgia as incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker jockey for the state’s Senate seat in an intense runoff race after neither candidate scored more than half the vote in the first go. 

Here’s what you need to know as the runoff election gets underway:

The runoff is Dec. 6

The runoff election will be held Dec. 6, about a month after the November midterms and after a week and a half of early voting.

Early voting started in some counties over the weekend after the Georgia Supreme Court denied a Republican bid to block a Saturday start. 

Early voting started statewide on Monday, Nov. 28, and runs until the Friday before Election Day, Dec. 2.

Georgians looking to cast their ballots in the runoff race need to have already registered by the Nov. 7 deadline ahead of the midterms.

Early voter turnout is breaking records

Georgia has seen high voter turnout throughout the midterms, and the runoff race is pulling in record numbers even weeks after November’s Election Day.

On Sunday, more Georgia voters cast their ballots than on any Sunday in the past three general elections, including this year, or in last year’s Senate runoff. 

On Monday, voter turnout broke the state’s all-time record for a single day of early voting — with more than 300,000 voters casting their ballots. 

The race could expand Democratic control of Senate

Democrats looked to Georgia throughout the midterms as an important pickup opportunity in their battle to keep control of the Senate. 

Unexpected wins in other states helped Democrats to 50 seats before Georgia’s race was called, but the seat is still key to determining the strength of the blue majority in the upper chamber. 

A Warnock win would put Democrats up 51-49, while a Walker win would rely on the tiebreaker vote by Vice President Harris — as in the current 50-50 Senate.

The candidates are neck and neck

In November’s general election, Warnock came in with 49.44 percent of the vote, just a hair ahead of Walker with 48.49 percent, according to data from the Georgia secretary of state. 

A new poll from Frederick Polls, COMPETE Digital and AMM Political released Tuesday puts the candidates deadlocked at 50 percent ahead of the runoff.

AARP released a poll last week that put Warnock ahead by 4 percentage points, though Walker was leading among voters older than 50.

The candidates have ramped up their campaigns and fundraising as the already tight midterm race stretches into December.

Tags 2022 midterm elections AARP AMM Political COMPETE Digital Frederick Polls Georgia Georgia Supreme Court Herschel Walker Herschel Walker Raphael Warnock Raphael Warnock runoff election U.S. Senate voter turnout

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