Sign up for the daily Inside Washington email for exclusive US coverage and analysis delivered to your inbox
Get our free Inside Washington email
The Republican-leaning precinct didn’t have enough uncounted votes for GOP challenger Herschel Walker to make up his runoff election night margin with incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
That’s what led The Associated Press to call the race for Warnock late Tuesday.
The vast majority of uncounted votes rested in Democratic strongholds, meaning Walker would not be able to muster the votes needed to overtake the incumbent.
Runoff voting began a few weeks after the November 8 general election, when neither Warnock nor Walker managed to win more than 50% of the vote.
They were the top two finishers in that race, but the presence of Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver – who polled 2.1% – prevented them from getting a majority.
Georgia law requires four weeks after the general election if a candidate does not receive more than 50% of the primary vote in the general election.
Twin runoff elections in Georgia in early 2021 determined the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, with Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff taking both seats. This year’s race was not as high-stakes as Democrats retained control of the chamber after incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s victory in Nevada last month.
With Warnock’s victory, Democrats not only gained a two-seat majority in the chamber — not much less needing a negotiated power-sharing deal or Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — but now hold a partisan edge in the Senate as well. Committee leadership positions.
Walker wanted to become the second black Republican member of the US Senate.
The final weeks of the general and runoff election periods become increasingly bittersweet. Walker cast Warnock — the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church — as a “hypocrite” and a servant of President Joe Biden.
There have also been related attacks from Walker’s past, including allegations that the football star-turned-businessman encouraged an ex-girlfriend to have a 2009 abortion, which he paid for. Walker, who supports a national ban on abortion, called the accusations “stupid.”
Since their one-on-one debate, Warnock has blasted Walker for a lack of policy detail and sometimes flubbed what policy he was discussing.
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
For more on the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections, visit https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections. Follow AP’s coverage of the election: https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections