The United States Senate race in Georgia does not have a clear winner as neither incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock nor his Republican challenger Herschel Walker have yet claimed an outright majority of the vote.
As of Wednesday morning, the race is too close to call, according to the Fox News Decision Desk, with more than 3.8 million ballots cast and Warnock leading Walker by approximately 35,000 votes. Warnock holds 49.42% of the vote, with 1,935,464 votes in his favor, and Walker has 48.52% with 1,900,168 votes. Third-party candidate Chase Oliver has 80,895 votes with 97.94% of precincts reporting.
Georgia law requires a candidate to surpass 50% of the vote to win an election, and a runoff between the top two vote-getters will be held on Dec. 6 if no candidate meets that requirement.
“We’re in a fight,” Walker told the crowd at his election party Tuesday night. He urged his supporters to “hang in there a little bit longer” as the remainder of the vote is counted.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker, left, speaks during an election night watch party on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Atlanta. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election night watch party on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Atlanta.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson | AP Photo/John Bazemore)
“I’m telling you right now, I’m like Ricky Bobby. I don’t come to lose,” Walker said.
Georgia’s Senate race could determine which party controls the Senate as Republicans have so far been unable to cross the 51-seat threshold needed to claim the majority. While Senate races in Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin remain too close to call, if all incumbents fend off their challengers, then Georgia’s contest will be the decisive one.
“We got more to say,” Warnock told supporters at his campaign’s watch party.
“We always knew that this race would be close. And so, that’s where we are,” he said. “So y’all just hang in there. I’m feeling good.”
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., waves after giving a speech at his election night party at Atlanta Marriott Marquis on Nov. 8, 2022 in Atlanta.
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Two years ago, Georgia Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were forced into a runoff and went on to lose to Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and Warnock respectively, handing President Biden and the Democrats full control of Congress. At the time, former President Trump suggested that Georgia Republican voters were “angry” over unproven claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent and did not go to the polls in protest.
Tuesday night’s election results have been disappointing for Republicans, who had hoped voter anger over record-high inflation and Biden’s deep unpopularity would propel GOP candidates to victory nationwide. As expectations of a Red Wave fizzled, many conservatives blamed Trump and pointed out that several of the candidates he endorsed failed to win their races.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters as his wife Julie Blanchard looks on during an election night event on Nov. 8, 2022, in Atlanta.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
“GOP Source tells me after tonight, with Trump candidates underperforming and DeSantis winning by double digits, 2024 is a ‘free for all,’” RealClearPolitics reporter Phil Wegmann wrote on Twitter. “‘Everybody in the water. If you want to take on Trump, he’s never been weaker.'”
Walker, a famous Georgia Bulldogs player and political neophyte, was a prominent Trump surrogate before he launched his campaign for U.S. Senate with Trump’s backing. Trump’s support made Walker an early front-runner in the Republican Senate primary, which he won despite concerns from Republican Party leadership and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., over whether Walker was ready for the grueling demands of a Senate campaign.
As the campaign unfolded, Walker faced attacks over his past, including allegations of domestic violence against his ex-wife and accusations by two anonymous women he once dated who claimed he had paid for their abortions despite his pro-life positions.
Walker vigorously denied the abortion allegations and said he has been open about his struggles with mental health. He has sought to portray Warnock as a yes-man for Biden’s left-wing agenda and out of step with Georgia voters.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.