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Georgia Senate Race Heads for Runoff

A vote arrives at a polling station at C.T. Martin Natatorium and Recreation Center during the US midterm election, in Tucker, Georgia on November 8, 2022. (AFP)

The U.S. state of Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Wednesday announced a runoff between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker after both candidates failed to secure a majority.

"We need all candidates who come up short to acknowledge it and to come back and fight within our system another day if that's their so choice," said Raffensperger as he announced the pending runoff between the Warnock and Walker.

"There is one race in our state that is going to be moving to the December 6th runoff," he said.

Under Georgia law, if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in the general election, the Senate race goes to a runoff four weeks later between the top two vote-getters.

Warnock gained 49.4% of the vote, while Walker gained 48.5%. Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver took 2% of the vote.

Twin runoff elections in Georgia 2021 determined the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, with Warnock and fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff taking both seats.

Whether Georgia becomes a winner-take-all for Senate control a second time will depend on the outcomes of other contests that are still pending, with Arizona and Nevada the two most closely watched as Republicans try to oust Democratic incumbents.

Control of Congress will be a key factor in determining the future of President Joe Biden’s agenda and serve as a referendum on his administration as the nation reels from record-high inflation and concerns over the direction of the country.

Ahead of the midterm on Tuesday, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives were up for election, as were 35 Senate seats.