Candidates in the Georgia Senate runoff made their last appeal to voters on Monday (December 5) ahead of Tuesday’s election that pits Democrat Raphael Warnock against Republican Herschel Walker.
Election officials have reported heavy turnout ahead of the runoff that will determine whether Democrats can add to their razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate.
Recent polling shows Warnock slightly ahead of Walker, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, but the difference has been close to or within the margin of error.
A lot is at stake in the battleground state race, the most expensive in the 2022 cycle, with total spending of nearly $400 million, campaign finance data shows.
Democrats secured effective control of the Senate in the Nov. 8 general election, while Republicans won the U.S. House of Representatives.
A Warnock victory would give his party an outright majority of 51 seats in the upper chamber and a measure of sway over committees and judicial appointments. A Walker win would boost Republicans’ chances of blocking President Joe Biden’s agenda.
More than 1.85 million Georgians have already cast a ballot during an early voting period, which closed on Friday, according to the Secretary of State’s office, and the state set multiple single-day records for early voting last week.
The early vote is expected to have leaned Democratic, political experts from both parties say, meaning the Walker campaign goes into Tuesday with a sizeable deficit. Republicans, however, tend to vote in bigger numbers on Election Day.
A Walker win would give national Republicans a boost, having seen their standing in the state of Georgia erode toward Democrats over the last few years. A Warnock victory could indicate that Democrats are making inroads in places where they have had difficulties gaining traction in the past.
Production: Julio-Cesar Chavez, Aleksandra Michalska, Kia Johnson