It’s due to a flaw in the state election law. Candidates for state-wide offices in general elections must win fifty percent of votes.
In the past four years, both candidates for the US Senate from Georgia and other parties have failed to reach that mark twice. Therefore, there is a need to hold a runoff election in 2021 for both Georgia and the US Senate seats.
Raphael Warnock (incumbent Democrat), a former football star from the southern Baptist church of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, will be taking on Herschel, a Republican who was backed by Donald Trump. He has been accused of having paid for his girlfriends and wives to get abortions despite avowing a deeply anti-abortion stance.
For the chance to represent a state that has been at the forefront of recent political turmoil, the pair will be going head-to-head.
True, 99 of 100 Senate seats have been decided by midterm elections. The Democrats currently have 49 votes to 49. Georgia’s run-off will not affect who controls the chamber because the constitution allows for the vice president to break a tied vote.
It might seem odd that Georgia’s runoff is important. It is more important to have 51 senators than 50.
You can lose one supporter on a complicated issue and still win your case. It will play a role in the election of Joe Manchin, a conservative-minded Democrat, from West Virginia. He is running for office in 2024.
Senator Manchin has already proven that he holds tremendous swayin detail legislative negotiations in Congress. In order to defend his seat 2024, he will have to prove to his conservative-minded constituents that they are not Joe Biden shills.
You also have greater control over the intricate workings and committee structures of the chamber by having 51 senators. It also means that you have more control over the key job of the Senate – the approval of nominations for federal bench judges – which is deeply political in this deeply-political country.
All this means that even though Senate control is decided, parties have been investing tens to millions of dollars in this race and television advertising at a fever pitch.
There is a direct relationship between the tightness in the race and advertising’s viciousness.
The difference between the two men is only a percentage point. Each vote counts. Both sides have been slugging each other over the airwaves, spending $70m (PS57m), in total. Both sides have targeted each other’s character as well as their personal lives.
The Walker camp has screened clips of Raphael Warnock’s exwife, allegedly after a domestic dispute. They accused him of overseeing a camp that disadvantaged young people, where “urine was thrown towards the children”, and of managing apartments for poorer persons “full with human faeces or even rotting corpses.”
The Warnock camp’s ads accuse Herschel of wearing lies like an honor badge. They accuse him of lying about his education, charitable giving and even a bizarre episode where a former football player claimed that he was a law enforcer when he didn’t.
Walker was pursuing action committees and associated political surrogates over allegations of abuse and hypocrisy about abortion. Given the number of negative stories, it’s quite remarkable that Walker is still in the lead polls. This is a testament to how tribal such races can become that he has supporters who will continue to support him.
When you look at the numbers, there are some worrying signs for Walker. He was the only Republican candidate in a state to not receive more than 50 percent of the vote on 8 November. He was therefore supported by a large number of Republicans who chose not to vote for him.
His problems with moderate Republicans were made quite public after Geoff Duncan, outgoing Republican Lieutenant-Governor, stated to the world that he had stood in line for one hour for early voting this week. Then, at the ballot box, he couldn’t help but vote for Mr Walker.
Raphael Warnock is not content to rest on his laurels. John Ossoff, a fellow Democrat and he may have won their respective run-offs in 2021. But those victories buck a historical trend in which Republicans have improved their vote in a majority Georgian run-offs, since the 1960s, according to Five Thirty Eight analysis.
However, Walker might find it difficult to convince party members to vote by not having any other Republicans on the ballot. Walker may also be less likely to get votes from his fellow Republicans by having no Republicans on the ballot. Walker may also not have done himself any favors taking five days off for Thanksgiving, which could make it harder to persuade them to vote.
He has not been able to attract big-hitters to his cause. This week, former Secretary of States Mike Pompeo was a bit of stardust. Raphael Warnock managed to get former President Barack Obama on his side, and former first lady Michelle Obama also made an appearance in campaign ads.
Donald Trump, despite being vocal supporters of Mr Walker, even mentioning him in his Mar-a-Lago Presidential bid announcement , hasn’t travelled to support him in person. Many will be scrutinising the final numbers to find out what message there is for his chances of winning the presidency.
Georgians will be free to breathe a sigh, enjoy the relief of not having to wait in line for two years and endure the tedious, frustrating politics in Georgia.