One of the biggest contests of the 2022 midterms—Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia vs. Republican challenger Herschel Walker—won't be decided for nearly a month. The AP on Wednesday reported that neither candidate crossed the 50% threshold needed under state law to win the race, and so the two will head to a runoff on Dec. 6. With an estimated 99% of the vote counted by 2:30pm ET Wednesday, it was 49.2% to Warnock and 48.7% to Walker, per CNN.
ABC News was among the outlets noting Tuesday night that third-party candidate Chase Oliver, a Libertarian, and his 2.1% of the vote could end up being the reason for the runoff. The network speculated Oliver was mostly siphoning votes from people who would typically lean Republican but couldn't bring themselves to vote for controversy-plagued Walker. The AP's take on what comes next: "a four-week blitz that again will test whether voters are more concerned about inflation under Democratic control of Washington or the Republican candidate’s rocky past."
The two candidates hit familiar themes in the home stretch of the campaign, with Warnock calling the former football star "not fit" for office, and Walker describing Warnock as a puppet of President Biden who has "forgotten about the people of Georgia." The race was difficult to predict despite both parties spending a total of nearly $250 million on their campaigns, per the Wall Street Journal. (Read more 2022 midterms stories.)