Sen. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent from Georgia, is projected to beat Republican challenger Herschel Walker in the state’s runoff election to win a full six-year term in the Senate, according to NBC News.
Warnock’s victory over Walker will give Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate, a potentially crucial boost that caps much-better-than-expected midterm elections for the party in control of the White House.
It also marks a major loss for former President Donald Trump, who had championed Walker and campaigned for him. Trump was already under fire from some Republicans after many of his handpicked candidates underperformed in key midterm races, helping Democrats keep majority control of the upper chamber of Congress.
The outcome of Georgia’s protracted, bitterly competitive Senate contest could have a major impact on Congress, both for the remainder of President Joe Biden‘s first term and for the 2024 cycle, when Democrats again face a tough electoral map.
The race went to a runoff after neither Warnock nor Walker won more than 50% of the vote in the Nov. 8 general election. While Warnock got more votes than Walker, third-party candidate Chase Oliver, a Libertarian, secured just over 2% of the vote, keeping either of the two main contenders from clinching a majority, according to NBC News’ count.
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