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Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock is headed to next month’s runoff election against the Trump-backed GOP candidate and former football great Herschel Walker with a huge cash advantage.
As Georgians have already begun heading to the polls, Warnock’s campaign has amassed a war chest three times the amount of cash Walker has on hand, according to a Friday update.
Warnock had more than $29 million in cash as of Nov. 16, having raised a 2022 midterms high of nearly $176 million, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Walker has just over $9.8 million cash on hand, having brought the highest-funded candidate to a runoff with less than $59 million, according to the FEC.
In the month from Oct. 20 to Nov. 16 alone, Warnock’s campaign raised $52 million to Walker’s under $21 million.
Despite Warnock’s major cash advantage, however, Walker managed to barely prevent the incumbent from reaching 50 percent of the vote in order to avoid the Dec. 6 runoff.
Democratic incumbents managed to outperform pre-midterm election polling, retaining their seats in Arizona and Nevada, and flipping a seat in Pennsylvania, due in part to major cash advantages. Republicans managed to recapture the House, however, and currently hold a 220-212 advantage with two races left to determine. Republicans hold narrow leads in both of them.
“While the Senate will hold a Democrat majority no matter what, the stakes are still high as the election could spell the difference between a 50-50 Senate with the needed backing of a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris or a clear majority,” Newsmax reported separately, noting that early voting had already begun.
Last week, the Georgia Supreme Court sided with Democrats and ruled in favor of allowing early voting.
“The state and some Republican groups previously objected to having early voting this weekend, citing a provision in state law preventing in-person early voting on a Saturday if it preceded a holiday. Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP candidate Herschel Walker is set to take place Dec. 6,” Fox News reported.
“The state high court issued a one-sentence order ruling to allow early voting without comment. The Warnock campaign has argued that the provision did not apply to statewide runoff elections. The Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling upholds a lower court’s approval for the early voting accommodations,” the report added.
Republican groups called on Georgia’s Supreme Court to prohibit early voting. The GOP groups argued that state law dictates that early voting can’t take place on the day Democrats wanted because it follows the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Georgia Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the Republican National Committee filed an appeal with the state’s Supreme Court after an appeals court rejected a similar request from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. The Georgia Court of Appeals dismissed Raffensperger’s request on Monday. Raffensperger argued, and the GOP groups maintain, that state law prohibits early voting on Saturday if a holiday falls on either of the two days before. Thursday, Thanksgiving, and Friday are both recognized holidays. This coming Saturday will be the only opportunity to cast any early vote on a Saturday before the runoff election on December 6,” the Daily Wire reported.
“The court of appeals’ denial of the Intervenor’s motion for emergency stay allows the superior court’s interpretation of [state law] to gut the statute, sow utter chaos, and unevenly impact Georgia voters’ access to advance voting,” the GOP filing said.
“The court has worked its will. We believe this is something the General Assembly should consider clarifying to avoid confusion in the future. I hope that election workers are able to enjoy a somewhat restful holiday despite this decision,” Raffensperger spokesman Mike Hassinger said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The U.S. Senate is currently at 50-49. The Georgia runoff election will decide whether the Republican Party will maintain its 50-50 split in the Senate or if Democrats will have a 51-49 advantage.
Last week, a poll revealed that incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has a slight lead over Trump-backed Republican candidate Herschel Walker just two weeks before the highly anticipated Senate runoff.
“An AARP poll released Tuesday surveying Georgia voters found that Warnock has a slight edge over Walker, 51% to 47%. Warnock holds a strong 24-point lead among voters 18 to 49 years of age, while Walker is up 9 percentage points among Georgia voters ages 50 and over,” Fox News reported.