STORY: Democrat Raphael Warnock is the winner of Georgia’s Tuesday runoff, strengthening his party's razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate.
Warnock’s projected victory over his challenger, Republican Hershel Walker – was a narrow one.
According to Edison Research, he led Walker just 50.8 to 49.2 percent with 99% votes counted early Wednesday.
"It is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: the people have spoken.”
The win moves Georgia beyond a state that flipped blue to Democrats as something of a surprise in 2020 and cements it as a battleground state sure to play a big role in the 2024 presidential elections.
Republican Walker was backed by former president Donald Trump, and his defeat is a setback for Trump as he seeks the GOP nomination to make a run at the White House
“There’s no excuses in life. I'm not going to make any excuses now, because we put up one heck of a fight.”
Walker’s campaign was dogged by repeated gaffes.
He ran as a vocal opponent of abortion, while reports emerged that he paid for multiple former girlfriends to have abortions, allegations that he denied.
As news of Warnock’s victory broke, a diverse group of supporters young and old broke into applause and dance – a reflection of the coalition that came together to support him.
Democrats are now on track for a 51-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate.
With an extra vote to spare, the party may not always need to court centrist senators like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema while pursuing President Joe Biden’s agenda for the next two years.