In 25 days, voters in 34 states will go to the polls to choose the next US senator.
But due to a quirk of Georgia election law, it may not be until early December that we know which party will control the Senate in 2023.
Georgia, as you may recall from the 2020 election, has a rule that states that if no candidate wins 50% of the vote, they go to the two ballots they receive.
In the 2020 cycle, elections were not held until January 2021. This time, if there was a vote, it would take place four weeks after the general election, on December 6.
And judging by the polls in the race between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, there appears to be a real chance that neither candidate will emerge victorious on Nov. 8.
Polls over the past month have generally shown Warnock with a slight lead over Walker. Recent polls of likely voters by Fox News and Marist show Warnock below the 50% mark, while those by Quinnipiac University and CBS News/YouGov put him above that threshold.
Complicating the math is the presence of Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver. In Marist’s September poll, Oliver took 4%, compared to Warnock’s 47% and Walker’s 45%. (Another 4% were undecided.)
And Oliver is enjoying his role as a potential spoiler. “If there’s a sweep, that means there’s enough of a population that feels like either of the two major candidates, or the two major candidates, haven’t responded enough,” Oliver recently told Bloomberg. “It’s a lesson for them.”
Consider what the political world might look like if the Georgia Senate race went to a runoff.
Democrats are currently slightly favored to win a Republican-held seat in Pennsylvania, where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is running against Dr. Mehmet Oz. And conversely, Republicans are feeling good about their chances of flipping the Nevada Senate seat, where Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is facing former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
That could create a scenario where Georgia, once again, holds the key to majority control of the Senate. A month-long spending spree would begin, with every national team you can think of entering the state trying to influence the outcome. according to CNN’s David WrightAbout $233.4 million has been spent on ads in the Georgia Senate race, making it the most expensive midterm contest to date.
point: A spill seems a very real possibility in Georgia. And it is not difficult to imagine the outcome of that escape determining control of the Senate. AGAIN. what a world