ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, awoke on Sunday to a different runoff election in Georgia following a win in Nevada that cemented Democratic control of the chamber.

The narrow victory by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, declared by news outlets Saturday night, means the Georgia race will no longer shift the balance of power.


President Biden smiles as he speaks about democratic control of the Senate before leaving his hotel to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Sunday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

But President Biden said that doesn’t mean Democrats are taking their foot off the gas in the state.

“We’re focusing now on Georgia. We feel good about where we are,” Biden told reporters in Cambodia ahead of an East Asia Summit there.

A win by Warnock in Georgia’s Dec. 6 runoff would provide Biden and Democrats a major boost in helping push through their agenda. The deadlocked chamber has relied on the vice president as a tie-breaking vote and has required Democrats to line up unanimous support to get things done. Warnock would give them some breathing room.

“It’s always better with 51, because we’re in a situation where you don’t have to have an even makeup of the committees. And so that’s why it’s important, mostly,” the president said.


“But it’s just simply better. The bigger the numbers, the better.”

Warnock and Walker will each be on the campaign trail Sunday afternoon, the first time they will appear since Democrats clinched Senate control.

Warnock is attending a fall festival and charity drive a rally at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, his alma mater, with rapper Lil Baby. Walker will be in Peachtree City as part of what his campaign is calling an “Evict Warnock” bus tour.

Neither candidate captured 50% of the vote outright in the Nov. 8 general election, which threw the race into a runoff.

Nationally, Democrats smashed expectations of a “red wave.” Heading into the midterms, experts and polls projected the GOP would easily flip control of the U.S. House and had a good chance of winning the Senate. Instead, Democrats have a chance to build on their majority in the Senate and the outcome in the House remains unclear as votes are still being tallied in a handful of races.

At least one Georgia Republican blamed the disappointing Senate results on former President Donald Trump.


Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said Trump “has literally sucked the life out of the GOP.”

“It’s beyond time to turn that page,” he said.

Duncan, a frequent Trump critic, did not seek reelection.

In Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp easily won reelection and all the statewide constitutional offices stayed in GOP hands. Warnock was the lone statewide Democrat standing. Warnock has been attacked through the campaign for siding with President Biden, whose approval ratings hover around a lackluster 38% in the state.

Walker survived a chaotic campaign where he was faced a string of allegations, including threats of violence against his wife and claims by two former girlfriends who said the the staunch abortion opponent pressured them to have abortions. Walker denied the accusations.

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