Prince Williams/Wireimage; Cindy Ord/Getty Raphael Warnock, Herschel Walker
Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker will face off again in a Georgia runoff election next month to determine who wins the race, according to multiple projections.
The candidates came in neck-and-neck in Tuesday's general election, with neither reaching the required 50% vote threshold to win the race outright, as 98% of ballots were counted.
Georgia secretary of state's chief operating officer Gabriel Sterling had announced via Twitter Wednesday that a two-round system would be likely.
"While county officials are still doing the detailed work on counting the votes, we feel it is safe to say there will be a runoff for the U.S. Senate here in Georgia," Sterling said, adding that it would be slated for Dec. 6.
Sen. Warnock, 53, has been down the runoff road before, as the same situation occurred in 2020. The reverend then won during round two in Jan. 2021. It was the first time since 2014 that Democrats gained control of the state, as 35-year-old Jonathan Ossoff also won for the Democratic Party that year.
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Making history as the state's first Black senator, Warnock thanked voters during his victory speech last year. "Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible," he said of his historic win.
The 2020 campaigns drew immense funding and attracted the likes of President-elect Joe Biden, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Mike Pence, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who all appeared at campaign events in-person or virtually to rally voters.
This year, President Obama hit the campaign trail once again to urge voters to help keep Democrats in office.
"I am counting on you to stay here through the evening, and I'm counting on you to do what is necessary if we must to fight on [in] December," Sen. Ossoff recently urged supporters at Warnock's campaign HQ in Atlanta in the case of a second face-off.
Sen. Warnock's opponent this time around, republican candidate Walker, 60, a college football hall-of-famer out of University of Georgia, announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate last summer, and won Georgia's Republican Senate primary in May.
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"I will stand up for conservative values and get our country moving in the right direction," he said at the time. "I'm a kid from a small town in Georgia who lived the American Dream and I'm ready to fight to keep that dream alive for you too."
It was a tight race for Sen. Warnock and Walker for most of the midterm election.
The Georgia runoff will see the two go head to head again, this time without a third-party candidate on the ticket to siphon off votes. In the month before the follow-up election, the candidates will battle to woo the approximately 80,000 Georgians who voted Libertarian.