Just how important will the Georgia Senate runoff be?

Elections 2022

(NewsNation) — As control of Congress hangs in the balance two days and counting after the 2022 midterm elections, just how important will the Georgia Senate runoff be?

It was one the tightest races in the country between incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker

Although data from Decision Desk HQ showed Warnock holding a slight lead over Walker as of Friday afternoon, neither candidate had garnered the majority of votes necessary under Georgia’s voting system.

As a result, the two candidates will meet in a Dec. 6 runoff.

It is the second election cycle in a row where a Georgia runoff was needed to settle a Senate contest.

Whether Georgia becomes a winner-take-all a second time, however, will depend on other contests that are still pending.

Arizona and Nevada are the two most closely watched races in this scenario. Republicans in both states are trying to oust Democratic incumbents.

Results from the two states are still being tabulated, including mail-in ballots.

As it stands, Democrats can lose one seat — and only one seat — and still control a Senate tied 50-50.

This is thanks to Democrat John Fetterman beating Republican Mehmet Oz and flipping Pennsylvania for the Democrats.

If Democrats retain their 50 seats, they will keep control because of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.

Democrats and Republicans alike need to take two of the three remaining uncalled states (Arizona, Nevada and Georgia) to claim control.

If Democrats hold Arizona and Nevada to keep their majority even without Georgia, Warnock might have an easier time making the contest a localized choice between himself and Walker.

But if the Senate hangs in the balance, Walker might more easily put Warnock on the defensive about the national implications he’s tried to avoid for months.

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks during an election night watch party on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Walker sought to play up the possibility that Georgia will tilt the chamber one way or the other.

“Control of the Senate is likely at stake,” Walker’s campaign wrote in a fundraising push on Wednesday. “We don’t have a moment to waste.”

Walker raised $3.3 million on the first day of his runoff campaign and brought in another $1 million the day after, according to Fox News.

Warnock urged the supporters to prepare themselves for more.

“I understand that at this late hour you may be a little tired, but whether it’s later tonight or tomorrow or four weeks from now, we will hear from the people of Georgia,” the senator said.

In 2021, a runoff in Georgia helped Warnock and fellow Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff flip both of the state’s Senate seats.

Together, the Georgia seats gave Democrats the narrow majority they are now defending.

As all eyes are on Georgia, the bottom line is to expect some delays in knowing full and final results.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks during an election night watch party on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Atlanta. Walker is running against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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