Senator Raphael Warnock, whose victory in a 2021 runoff helped Democrats gain control of the Senate and made him the first Black senator from Georgia, is being challenged by Herschel Walker, a former football star and Trump-backed Republican. According to the latest poll count, Raphael Warnock received 1,906,459 votes and Herschel Walker got 1,868,938 votes at the time of writing.
During brief remarks to supporters at his election watch party in suburban Atlanta, Mr Walker said: “I am telling you right now, I am like Ricky Bobby.
“I don’t come to lose.”
A runoff campaign would be a four-week blitz that, depending on the outcomes in other Senate contests, could reprise the 2020 election cycle, when two Senate runoffs in Georgia doubled as a national winner-take-all battle for Senate control.
State officials in Georgia expect that results will be reported faster than in 2020, when 77 percent of votes were reported by midnight Eastern and 95 percent were reported by noon on Wednesday.
There’s a possibility that the high-profile Senate race won’t be decided until a December 6 runoff election, which will be triggered if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.
Mr Warnock followed shortly before midnight, telling his supporters gathered in downtown Atlanta that he’d expected a close race and would continue watching the tally.
He said: “That’s where we are, so y ou all just hang in there. I’m feeling good.”
The Associated Press reported that if the race ultimately heads to a second round, it could be because of GOP-leaning voters like Doreen Hendricks, who cast her ballot Friday, the final day of early in-person voting, in the Atlanta suburb of Tucker in DeKalb County.
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Nearly six in 10 voters said Warnock has the right background to serve as a senator.
Only about four in 10 said the same about Walker, a football icon in Georgia.
The state’s voters were also more likely to say that Warnock has strong moral values, with roughly half of voters saying so about the senator.