Will We Be Stuck With Another Runoff in Georgia?

The circumstances are right for Georgia to determine the Senate majority rule once again. It could require additional weeks of campaigning, exactly like in 2020.

What the Key Players Are Saying

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP opponent Herschel Walker are in a tight contest, according to public poll results, with Warnock gaining little leads in most polls. Even while the GOP is doing better nationally, people prefer Warnock.

However, Chase Oliver, a libertarian, will also be on the ticket in November and is receiving a small amount of support in certain polls. Warnock may be ahead in certain surveys, but he often falls short of the 50% mark.

In Georgia, if no candidate receives a majority of votes, the top two candidates advance to a head-to-head runoff on December 6, the same scenario that saw Georgians give Democrats a majority in the Senate last year.

Naturally, the outcome of other contests around the nation would determine whether those conditions would occur again.

However, the race for power in the Senate is now closely contested between the two parties; the mere prospect of the chamber remaining uncertain long after the election in November is making some Georgia planners uneasy.

Sukari Johnson, leader of the Clayton County Democratic Party, emphasized that “nobody desires a rerun.”

“Because it’s very difficult for them to run again and, at that stage, it costs time and money to persuade them to go. After November, nobody wishes to do it again.”

The Numbers

FiveThirtyEight’s national poll for the Warnock-Walker contest gives the Democratic senator a three-point lead.

This is matching the advantage he held in the latest survey conducted by his home-state newspapers, the Atlanta Journal Constitutional, and the University of Georgia. In that poll, which was released at the end of July, Oliver received three percent of the vote.

Even while Republican Governor Brian Kemp consistently has slight polling advantages against Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams, Warnock has maintained his edge.

There is some dissatisfaction with Walker among voters who are willing to cast GOP ballots in the state’s other significant election, according to a slice of the ticket-splitting data.

Georgia native and previous Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who joined Walker at a campaign stop in Alpharetta, told Politico if the Senate election “is a tiny race and it’s just down to two candidates’ personalities, then I believe Warnock may win.”

“If this is a close election and Warnock’s role in the greatest gas prices in history and inflation of 9% determines the winner, I believe Warnock will lose.”

The closeness of the race —and the possibility of a runoff— is caused by those opposing crosscurrents. Democrats acknowledge that after several years of nearly constant political conflict in Georgia, tiredness may start to play a role.

This article appeared in The Patriot Brief and has been published here with permission.