Nation has Georgia on its mind as voters hit the polls in US Senate runoff

ST. MARYS, Ga. — Georgia voters cast their ballots in the runoff election for U.S. Senate between Incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker Tuesday.

The impact of the race goes well beyond the Peach State.

The entire nation had Georgia on its mind Tuesday night as the balance of power in the U.S. Senate will be decided by the runoff.


Georgia voters Action News Jax spoke with in St. Marys were well aware their vote would impact every American for years to come.

As of midday nearly 1.9 million Georgia voters had cast a ballot in the runoff election.

Jerry Brandon, the former mayor of St. Marys, came out in support of Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock.

He said he cast his ballot with the future of the nation front of mind.

“I mean it’s the last one to count and it makes a big difference whether you have 50 votes or 51 votes,” said Brandon.

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But the national implications aren’t only driving momentum on one side.

Walker supporter Patty Mudge said she cast her vote to help her sister in New England.

“She can’t afford to heat her house. It’s just terrible and it happened on day one of the Biden Administration. So, we need to get back on track,” said Mudge.

A Walker victory would keep the 50/50 split in the chamber that currently requires evenly divided committees.

If Warnock wins, Democrats will be able to push appointments, bills and budgets to the chamber floor with no Republican support.

“There’s maybe a little more of a sense of a Senatorial mandate if they win that 51st seat,” said UNF political science professor Sean Freeder.

Freeder said he anticipates the race will come down to the wire.

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“I’m likely to thinking that Warnock is going to win, but it’s going to be a really tight race. This is going to be decided by just a couple percentage points, if not more tight,” said Freeder.

A voter we spoke with said predicting the outcome of the race isn’t as sweet and clear as moonlight through the pines.

In the November General Election, Democrat Raphael Warnock secured about 37,000 more votes than Republican Herschel Walker… an advantage of less than one percent.

“I think it’s gonna come down to the wire,” said Walker supporter Jim Harrison.

Harrison said he thinks Walker will ultimately come out on top, believing the two percent of the vote that went to a Libertarian candidate in the General Election will swing in Walker’s favor.

“I think he’ll barely squeak it out,” said Harrison.

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But Warnock supporter Mary Kennedy said she expects some Republicans to cross the aisle and deliver a victory for Warnock.

“Democrats and Republicans know what’s at stake and they know we need someone with knowledge,” said Kennedy.

Freeder said while it’s impossible to predict who will win, looking at the demographics of who has already voted can provide some hints.

“I look at that data, it reminds me of the special election that we had back in 2020. It reminds me a little bit of some of the November data we’ve looked at. So, it seems to be consistent with numbers that are slightly better for Warnock than Walker, but again it’s also consistent with considerable tightness,” said Freeder.

Polls officially close at 7 p.m.

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