Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, and Herschel Walker, a Republican, will face off in a runoff election on December 6 in Georgia because neither candidate received the number of votes needed to win the general election. This will make for an expensive and contentious contest that may still determine which party will control the Senate in the future.
It will be Warnock's second runoff; he first won his seat in a special election runoff on January 5, 2021, along with Democrat Jon Ossoff's victory in an adjacent Senate runoff.
The Georgia seats added up to give Democrats the slim majority they are currently defending.
The results of other contests that are still pending, with Arizona and Nevada being the two most closely watched because Republicans are trying to unseat Democratic incumbents, will determine whether Georgia becomes a winner-take-all for Senate control a second time.
Walker started to emphasise the likelihood that Georgia might tip the chamber in one direction or the other.
In a fundraising effort on Wednesday afternoon, Walker's campaign stated that "control of the Senate is probably on the line." "There is no time to waste,"
In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Warnock told his remaining supporters at his election night party to brace themselves for more while acknowledging the possibility of a runoff.
The senator said, "I realise that you might be a little tired at this late hour, but whether it's later tonight, tomorrow, or four weeks from now, we will hear from the people of Georgia.
The difference between those two possibilities is evident in the results of other races in Georgia. Walker ran far behind Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who was reelected with ease despite a fierce challenge from Democrat Stacey Abrams, by trailing Warnock in the first round.
That suggests that many Georgia voters, including some Republicans, supported Kemp but were hesitant to support Walker, endorsing Warnock, choosing the Libertarian, or choosing not to participate in the Senate race at all.