Georgia 2022 Senate race heading to runoff election between Warnock, Walker

The majority control of the divided U.S. Senate hangs in the balance.

ByTal Axelrod and Alexandra Hutzler via ABCNews logo
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
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Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker were locked in a tight race night in Georgia as elections officials continued to count ballots in the state that determined partisan control of the Senate nearly two years ago and could do so again in these midterm elections.

ATLANTA -- In the Georgia Senate race, ABC News reports that no candidate will receive more than 50% of the vote in Tuesday's midterm elections.

There will be a Dec. 6 runoff election between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

As of Wednesday morning, with 96% of the expected vote reported, Warnock and Walker are tied at 49% each with Warnock leading by some 17,000 votes.

2022 ELECTION RESULTS: Live updates, results, maps

The Georgia Senate race was one of the most competitive in the country and seen as both a key part of Democrats' plans to keep control of the Senate, currently split at 50-50, and Republicans' efforts to topple that majority.

Republicans invested millions in unseating Warnock, a noted Atlanta reverend, given the state's historic GOP tilt at a time when polls showed the national mood had soured against Democrats' unified control of Washington.

Still, Walker, a businessman and college football legend in Georgia, faced a tough foe in Warnock. The incumbent remained disciplined in his messaging, seeking to fend off Republican attempts to cast him as a radical and lackey of the unpopular Biden White House by focusing on proposals like lowering the cost of insulin and his cooperation with Republican lawmakers like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on bipartisan issues like infrastructure investment.

Walker, meanwhile, coasted through his primary with the endorsement of former President Donald Trump but faced scandal since virtually the start of his bid.

Walker had written a memoir recounting his diagnosis with dissociative identity disorder, or D.I.D., a complex mental health condition characterized by some severe and potentially debilitating symptoms. His Senate campaign website stated that his D.I.D. was caused by childhood trauma.

During the campaign, some Democrats resurfaced years-old allegations from Walker's ex-wife that he held a gun to her head.

Walker had told ABC News in 2008, in response to the account from ex-wife Cindy Grossman that he threatened her with a weapon, that he had no recollection of the incident she described.

His campaign was roiled in the final weeks of the race when he denied accusations from two women who claimed that, in 1993 and 2009, he paid for them to have abortions after Walker cast himself as a deeply conservative candidate who favored a ban on the procedure with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Despite the controversy, Republicans flocked to his support, citing his steadfast denials, with national figures like Florida Sen. Rick Scott, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, appearing on the trail with him.

Senate Election

Governor Election

ABC News can project that Georgia's incumbent governor, Republican Brian Kemp, will win his rematch election against his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams.

Kemp, a conservative stalwart who broke with Donald Trump when the former president called for him to help in overturning the 2020 election in the state, faced off against Abrams, a staunch voting rights activist, in a lengthy 2018 contest that ended in a recall.

During their 2022 faceoff -- one of the Peach State's marquee contests -- Kemp has remained about five points above Abrams since March, with a New York Times/Marist poll published on Nov. 1 finding that voters still narrowly preferred the incumbent to his Democratic challenger.

Abrams, a lawyer who was propelled into Democratic stardom following her failed 2018 gubernatorial attempt, made her last pitch to voters on Saturday during a campaign event, criticizing Kemp for refusing to expand health care, loosening gun restrictions and enacting an abortion restriction in the state.

"But here's the thing, he gave me a perfect understanding of who he is. He doesn't care about other people losing their houses, so it's time for us to evict him from his mansion. It's time for us to take back the governor's mansion. That's what we're gonna do," she said.

Kemp spent his last few days on the campaign trail squeaking out an 11th-hour endorsement from Trump. During a rally in Ohio on Monday, the former president listed a number of GOP hopefuls that voters should cast their ballots for, during which he added, "Brian Kemp for governor in Georgia."

House Election

Counties are colored red or blue when the percent of expected vote reporting reaches a set threshold. This threshold varies by state and is based on patterns of past vote reporting and expectations about how the vote will report this year.

ABC Owned TV Stations contributed to this report.