Senior election officials have said Georgia’s key Senate race will likely go to a December 6 runoff. Due to state laws, if neither candidate wins more that 50 percent of the popular vote, the two frontrunners will have a runoff election in December.
Former American Football player Herschel Walker (R), backed by Donald Trump, is facing off against incumbent Raphael Warnock (D), who preaches at famous civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr’s former Atlanta church.
However, there is another candidate in the race. Chase Oliver of the Libertarian Party has taken around two percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.
This may be enough to spoil it for the other candidates, leaving them just shy of the 50 percent mark.
Election official Gabriel Sterling said: “While county officials are still doing the detailed work on counting the votes, we feel it is safe to say there will be a runoff for the US Senate here in Georgia slated for December 6.”
If a runoff did occur, it could mean that the balance in the Senate would hang for a month if Republicans failed to win one of the four Senate races besides Georgia which haven’t been called.
Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock also conceded the race might result in a runoff.
“We’re not sure if this journey is over tonight or if there’s still a little work yet to do,” Warnock told the supporters who remained in an Atlanta hotel ballroom just before 2am on Wednesday.
“I understand that at this late hour you may be a little tired,” he continued, “but whether it’s later tonight or tomorrow, or four weeks from now, we will hear from the people of Georgia.”
Walker also commented last night, reassuring voters to “hang in there”.
“We’re in a fight, are we not?” the Republican candidate said to a cheering crowd. He added: “I’m telling you right now, I’m like Ricky Bobby [the fictional race car driver played by Will Ferrell in the movie Talladega nights] – I don’t come to lose.
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“[Warnock’s] going to be tough to beat, but let me tell you what: he’s got the wrong Georgia here.”
A runoff would mean a wait of almost a month before the results of the race were known, and another four weeks of campaigning by the candidates.
Both appeared to be preparing for an eventual run off with plans to speak later today.
Warnock (D) held a slight lead of about 18,000 votes, out of four million cast.