Raphael Warnock vs. Herschel Walker: How Today's Georgia Runoff Election Could Impact You

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 18: Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga attends the 38th Annual Atlanta UNCF Mayor's Masked Ball at Atlanta Marriott Marquis on December 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.(photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage); NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Former professional football player Herschel Walker visits the SiriusXM Studios on November 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 18: Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga attends the 38th Annual Atlanta UNCF Mayor's Masked Ball at Atlanta Marriott Marquis on December 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.(photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage); NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Former professional football player Herschel Walker visits the SiriusXM Studios on November 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Prince Williams/Wireimage; Cindy Ord/Getty Raphael Warnock, Herschel Walker

With the future of the Senate hanging in the balance, all eyes are on Tuesday's Georgia Senate runoff election, which pits incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock against Republican newcomer Herschel Walker. So, what would a win by either party mean for the average American? Actually, a lot.

The way the Senate currently stands gives Democrats a slight advantage. Even at a 50-50 party split, Vice President Kamala Harris, as Senate president, can cast a tie-breaking vote — giving her party the edge on a technicality.

But if Warnock were to win the Georgia Senate race on Tuesday, Democrats would secure a 51-49 majority over Republicans for the upcoming term, giving them more power over committees and more of a cushion if a Democratic senator sides with Republicans on a particular vote. That means they could more easily pass legislation and confirm President Joe Biden's nominees — including any future nominees to the Supreme Court.

RELATED: 80K Votes Are Up for Grabs in the Georgia Senate Runoff — How Republicans and Democrats Plan to Fight for Them

A Warnock win would also mean that Democrats wouldn't have to worry so much about the more centrist members of their party, like Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — who have held up some pieces of legislation that the Biden administration considers central to their agenda.

Raphael Warnock
Raphael Warnock

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images Sen. Raphael Warnock

If Walker were to win, however, the GOP would have more opportunities for legislative victory. Were Manchin or Sinema to vote with the Republicans, for instance, the slight Democratic advantage would dissipate — a scenario that has happened in the past.

A Walker win would be noteworthy in other ways, too, as it would signal former President Donald Trump's sway over voters in Georgia, a swing state that helps determine presidential elections.

RELATED: Georgia's No. 2 Republican Says Herschel Walker Will Be Remembered Among Nation's Worst GOP Candidates

While many polls had suggested big Republican gains ahead of Election Day last month, a red wave failed to materialize, with some critics chalking up Republican losses to Trump himself, who made a number of high-profile endorsements, including of Walker.

Former President Donald Trump hugs Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.
Former President Donald Trump hugs Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker during his Save America rally in Perry, Ga., on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.

Ben Gray/AP Photo

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

But neither Walker nor Warnock reached the required 50% vote threshold to win the race outright, leading the candidates to advance to the runoff on Tuesday.

RELATED: 15-Year-Old Shot in Savannah While Allegedly Campaigning for Democrat Raphael Warnock

The campaign marks the first foray into politics for Walker, a former football star who has been mired in controversy in recent months due to allegations that the anti-choice candidate quietly urged two women to get abortions — claims he has vehemently denied.

Sen. Warnock, meanwhile, has been down the runoff road before, as the same situation occurred in 2020. The reverend then won during round two in Jan. 2021. It was the first time since 2014 that Democrats gained control of the state, as 35-year-old Jon Ossoff also won for the Democratic Party that year.