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Democrats Secure US Senate After Georgia Runoff Win: All You Need To Know

Dem Raphael Warnock beat Rep Herschel Walker in the Georgia runoff, thus securing a Democrat majority in the Senate.

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What We Know
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The Democrats secured control of the United States (US) Senate for the remaining part of President Joe Biden's term after Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in the Georgia runoff on Tuesday, 6 December.

Warnock, a senior pastor, beat Walker, a former American football legend, after winning 51.3 percent of the vote share, against his opponent's 48.7 percent.

"The people have spoken," Warnock said in his victory speech after the results were announced, adding, "I’m proud of the bipartisan work I’ve done and I intend to do more because I actually believe that at the end of the day, we’re all Americans."

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What do Senate numbers look like now?

After Warnock's victory, the Democrats have a razor-thin majority of 51 in the Senate, compared to the Republicans' 49.

This means that Democrats will not have to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote to pass legislation in the Senate in case the votes are neck-and-neck.

Will Democrats be able to turn bills into legislation easily after securing the Senate?

While securing control of the Senate is a big win for the Democrats, the party will still face hardships in turning essential legislation into law. This is because the Republicans have outright control of the US House of Representatives, with 221 seats, compared to 213 for the Democrats.

Hence, while the Democrats may be able to pass partisan bills in the Senate with relative ease, they will find it much harder to push it through the House. Democrats may even have to make steep compromises with the Republicans, thus watering down the content of essential legislation.

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Why Was the Georgia Runoff Held? 

In the midterm elections held in November, Warnock led Walker by 37,000. However, he was unable to cross the 50 percent threshold required to win the election outright. Hence, a runoff was necessitated.

During the course of the campaign, Walker faced serious allegations, including claims that he had paid for the abortions of two former girlfriends, according to AP.

This had dented his reputation considerably, as Republicans and their supporters are vehemently against abortions, and had hailed the overturning of the Roe v Wade judgment earlier this year.

Further, Walker was also forced to admit during his campaign that he had fathered three children out of wedlock – a topic he had never broached publicly before.

Local Significance of the Runoff

While the runoff has larger political implications, it is also significant locally. This is because Georgia, which is traditionally a conservative-leaning state, has an African American Senator for the first time in history.

Further, the runoff was the most expensive election in the 2022 midterm cycle, with over $400 million spent on campaigning and ads.

Last Nail In the Coffin for Republican Red Wave

Warnock's win in the Georgia runoff is the last nail in the coffin of the Republicans' hope for a red wave.

It also acts as a massive setback for former President Donald Trump, who was banking on the red wave to pump up his hopes for reelection in 2024.

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Several Trump-backed opponents also faltered in the polls, Walker being the last of them. Some other high-profile Republicans who fell far short of expectations include Mehmet Oz, Blake Masters, Adam Laxalt, and Don Bolduc.

Several pollsters had called the 2022 midterms a precursor to the 2024 presidential election, and had said that if the Republicans win big, the post of president would most likely be secured by Trump.

However, with the recent election losses, the jury is not only out on Trump's reelection, but also the fate of his political career.

(With inputs from AP.)

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