Georgians will decide Tuesday whether Senator Raphael Warnock, the Democratic party incumbent, or Herschel Walker, the retired football star nominated by Republicans, will represent them in the Senate next year.
The midterm election code comes after an intense, months-long runoff in which the Democrats spend nearly twice as much as the GOP
But money only gets you so far in politics. Here are five key factors that will help determine the winner:
Turnout Election Day Republicans
The early vote was clearly in favor of Mr Warnock. Georgia does not track party affiliation of early voters, but black voters, who showed an overwhelming preference for Mr Warnock when polls exited on Nov. 8, are about a third of the total early voters in the second round, according to the office of the secretary of state, a larger share than in previous elections in Georgia. Women, who also sided with Mr Warnock last month, cast about 56 percent of the vote. And Gen Z voters — 18- to 24-year-olds, who break liberal — have come out strong.
Democratic modelers believe Mr. Warnock will go into Election Day with a lead of about eight percentage points. If so, they say, Republicans would need to show up in force and capture about 60 percent of the votes cast on Tuesday for Walker to win a victory.
More bad news for Mr. Walker: Rain is forecast for Tuesday, especially in heavily Republican North Georgia.
What you need to know about Georgia’s Senate runoff
Another drain in Georgia. The contest between Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, and his Republican opponent, Herschel Walker, will be decided in a runoff on December 6. It will be the third Senate round in two years. Watch the match here:
A highly motivated electorate wouldn’t let a cold, muddy day keep them from the polls, but Georgians are showing signs of fatigue. There was the ruthless spring primary season that pitted Donald J. Trump’s wing of the Republican Party against Georgia Republicans who stood by their governor, Brian Kemp, despite Mr. Trump’s insults. The fall brought hard-fought general elections for governor and for the Senate, and now a runoff has drenched the airwaves with attack ads.
Heavy December rain could make voting on Tuesday feel even more like a slog.
When Mr. Trump brought in Mr. Walker as his anointed candidate, he thought the former winner of the Heisman Trophy, who led the University of Georgia to a national championship in 1980, would have clear appeal to black voters, who took effect two years ago. turned out to be. for Mr. Warnock, pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
That turned out to be a miscalculation. But many black men were also less enamored of a black woman, Stacey Abrams, in her rematch with Mr. Kemp for governor. Mr Kemp won handily in November with 53 per cent of the vote, even as Mr Warnock managed to get close to 50 per cent, partly because some black men voted for Mr Kemp and Mr Warnock.
On Tuesday, another black male voter will take the spotlight, the one who was so turned off by Ms. Abrams that he failed to show up on November 8. More than 76,000 voters who cast a runoff vote have already voted no election, according to GeorgiaVotes.com, a site that uses public data to analyze voting trends. That could be a sign of energetic black men.
The ticket distributors of November
Governor Kemp’s 2.1 million votes in November surpassed Mr. Walker’s total by more than 200,000. And Mr. Warnock’s 1.9 million votes surpassed Mrs. Abrams’ total by more than 130,000.
More on the Georgia Senate runoff
- How Walker was able to win: Despite the steady stream of harsh headlines for Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee, he was able to prevail. Here’s how.
- Warnock’s record: An electric car factory outside of Savannah could be the most significant achievement for Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock. But the Republicans don’t give him credit.
- Mixed feelings: The contest may have been a showcase of black political power in the Deep South. But many black voters say Mr Walker’s turbulent campaign marred the moment.
- Insulin prices: The issue is nowhere near as controversial as just about everything else raised in the race. But in a state with a high rate of diabetes, it has proven to be a resonant topic.
It is clear that a large number of Georgians have voted for both Mr. Kemp, a Republican, and Mr. Warnock, a Democrat.
A question on Tuesday will be whether voters who came to re-elect Mr Kemp, and perhaps grudgingly voted to re-elect Mr Warnock, will only vote for Mr Warnock.
An even bigger question could ensue: Will Republican voters who entered the market to vote for Mr. Kemp in November, and voted for the straight Republican ticket, also come out for Mr. Walker at all?
Mr. Walker has proven to be a deeply flawed candidate. Even before the primary voters elected him in May, he was charged with domestic violence and stalking by an ex-wife, an ex-girlfriend and a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. He has since had to give up illegitimate children. His son Christian Walker has publicly accused him of neglect and violence. And two women have said that Mr. Walker, who calls himself a devout anti-abortion Christian, pressured them to have an abortion.
Mr Kemp’s popularity helped Mr Walker to 48.5 per cent of the vote last month. On Tuesday, Mr. Walker will have to do even better, and then without the governor’s mantle.