WASHINGTON - Polls are close soon in the Senate runoff election in Georgia, where Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is hoping to fend off a challenge from Republican Herschel Walker.
The runoff was triggered by the state law because neither candidate won an outright majority in the November election, which led to a long lines and rain in both parties' efforts to drive people to the polls for the second time in as many months.
Democrats are confident about their chances thanks to the huge spending advantage and the fact that more Democrats opted to vote early. A record-breaking 1.85 million ballots have already been cast.
The Republicans hope to turn the tide with a big turnout on Election Day, when most of their voters usually cast a ballot.
The races decided in November that Democrats will retain control of the Senate next year, but a Warnock victory would allow the party to exert more control over the chamber than the current 50-50 divide, which only gives Democrats power thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris casing tie-breaking votes.
The Democratic chances of keeping the majority in 2024 could be critical when the electoral map favors Republicans.
Walker, who is backed by former President Donald Trump and was a star running back for the University of Georgia and in the NFL, has been dragged down by mounting scandals and a sense of pessimism about his campaign.
Warnock, who was a pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.'s former church for years, tried to reach swing voters by portraying the race as not as a contest between Republicans and Democrats, but about right versus wrong, as he said in an interview with MSNBC s Joy Reid Monday.
Georgia was a reliably red state until just two years ago when it voted for President Joe Biden and then elected Warnock and fellow Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff in twin runoff elections.
Walker warned Republicans that they need to turn out to stop national Democrats from gaining more power. If you don't vote, you're going to get more Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden, he told Fox News Sean Hannity on Monday night.