Voters in Georgia are expected to hit another close score when they take part in polls in the crucial second round of the elections on December 6 that will select a future state senator.
Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock is struggling to keep his place in a closely watched race against Republican football star Herschel Walker, who has been backed by former President Donald Trump.
The race for the Georgian Senate will go to the second round as no candidate won 50 percent of the vote.
For mid-term live updates, check out the Newsweek blog live: Who won the 2022 midterm elections? – results of the Senate, House of Representatives and the governor.
Senator Warnock was driving Walker from 49.42 percent to 48.52 percent of Republicans, with about 95 percent of the vote counting from early Friday morning, according to New York Times. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver won 2.7 percent of the vote.
A second round may decide on Senate control, but it is not yet clear whether Georgia will be necessary to create a majority in the house.
The Senate races in Nevada and Arizona are still not finalized, but if the Democrats win those seats they will win the majority.
Democratic Senator Mark Kelly leads Republican Blake Masters in Arizona, while Nevada Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto stands behind her republic contender Adam Laxalt.
A key issue in the race for Georgia will be the role that former President Trump will play. While he supported Walker, the other candidates who enjoyed his endorsement did not do as well as some expected.
In the most famous case, Dr. Mehmet Oz, a United States Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, was defeated by Democrat Governor John Fetterman.
Trump also teased the November 15 “big announcement” that could be his formal confirmation that he will be running for the White House again in 2024. This could have an impact on race in Georgia, according to political scientists who interviewed Newsweek.
If the former president goes further with the much-anticipated campaign announcement, it could shift attention to Trump in the Georgia Senate elections.
Robert Singh, professor in the Department of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London, said: Newsweek: “US Senate control may come back down to the second round of elections in Georgia.
“Not only will it likely be a very competitive race, but it will also give some insight into the road to 2024,” said Singh. “The key element will be whether Donald Trump will once again prove to be a key impact, as in 2021.”
Warnock triumphed in the special election to the Georgia Senate in January 2021, defeating Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler.
Singh said if Trump announces his candidacy on Tuesday, “it will likely motivate anti-Trump voters to oppose his personally endorsed candidate, Hershel Walker.”
“It would probably be a boon for the Democrats,” Singh added.
Whether Trump announces a presidential run or not, the race in Georgia will be the subject of intense national attention, especially if Senate control comes down to rivalry between Walker and Warnock.
“Given the proximity to the Georgia election, I think both candidates are back on the starting line and everything resets,” said Thomas Gift, founding director of University College London’s Center on US Politics. Newsweek.
“Neither candidate will have a clear advantage, but the race has become much larger than Georgia. It is now a national campaign, with all the pitfalls that come with it. and famous politicians and celebrities will come to the state with support, ”he said.
“Since the Senate majority can most likely be at stake, the fight becomes even less about Warnock vs Walker and more about whether voters prefer a Democratic or Republican-controlled chamber,” added Gift.
After Republicans underperformed Tuesday’s semesters, despite positive polls, some party members urged Trump to postpone any statements in 2024 until the second round of Georgia’s elections, including former adviser Jason Miller, who spent his election night in March -Lago, Trump’s Florida home that was raided by the FBI.
The delay could potentially benefit Walker in the near race.
“If he [Trump] decides not to announce, or at least remains aloof, Republicans can hope to repeat the kind of effort that easily led Brian Kemp to beat Stacey Abrams in the governor race, Singh said. Newsweek.
Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp won re-election on Tuesday with 53.4% of the vote, defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams.
“The fact that Kemp’s and Walker’s results were so strikingly different was evidence of the negative impact Trump was having,” said Singh.
“Republicans will fear it won’t cost them Senate control. Either way, we can expect one of the most expensive senate competitions in US history when dollars affect both sides, ”he added.
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