Who’s funding Georgia’s $400M Senate race?

Georgia 2022 Midterm Election

(NewsNation) — Total spending in the race for Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat has surpassed $400 million as voters prepare to cast their ballots a second time in the most expensive Senate race this election cycle.

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That $400 million of total spending includes both candidate and outside spending for Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker, Open Secrets data shows.

Warnock has outpaced Walker in fundraising and spending. As of Nov. 16, the most recent data available, Warnock tapped more than $126 million of his campaign funds. That’s compared to the $48.5 million Walker spent.

Alphabet Inc. (a holding company and parent of Google), Microsoft Corp and Emory University are among some of Warnock’s top five contributors, according to Open Secrets.

Walker has received some of his largest contributions from the Senate Conservative Fund, the Georgia-based real estate company Teramore Development and the Association of KFC Franchisees.

Outside contributors have also dedicated millions of dollars to the race — about $60 million alone in preparation for Tuesday’s runoff election, according to Open Secrets data.

Interest in the contest between Warnock and Walker has reached beyond Georgia.

Out-of-state contributions for both candidates come to about $16.2 million, with Warnock’s campaign claiming most of those funds.

Much of that outside interest was previously tied to concerns about whether Republicans or Democrats would take control of the Senate.

Democrats retained that control early last month, but both parties still have reasons to keep an eye on Georgia, The Hill’s White House columnist Niall Stanage recently told NewsNation.

Another Democratic win would reinforce the party’s ideologies, while a Republican loss could come back to haunt former President Donald Trump.

“(Democrats) would have an extra cushion for close votes … and it would also reduce the leverage of two somewhat maverick-prone Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema,” Stanage said.

Both lawmakers have often strayed from the party line.

As for Republicans, a Walker loss could “amplify the argument” that Trump’s endorsements do the party more harm than good, Stanage said during his recent NewsNation appearance.

Many of the former president’s high-profile endorsees lost their midterm races.

The Senate race between Warnock and Walker, however, was too close to call after the Nov. 8 election.

Neither candidate earned the majority of votes necessary under Georgia’s voting system. They finished with a razor-thin margin favoring Warnock by less than one percentage point, according to results from Decision Desk HQ, which called the midterm races for NewsNation.

Without conclusive results, Georgia’s Senate race was continued for a runoff election set to take place Tuesday.

During the first Sunday of early voting for the runoff, Georgia residents cast more ballots than any single Sunday in the 2022, 2020 and 2018 general elections, Warnock’s campaign manager said.

Warnock won his seat in 2021 in a runoff election after the 2020 general election results were too close for Georgia’s voting system.

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