Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., won reelection to the U.S. Senate in Georgia, defeating Republican Herschel Walker, Newsmax projected as of 9:48 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.
With 95% of the estimated vote tallied, Warnock led by 50.73%-49.27% after Newsmax elections analysts called the race.
“Thank you, Georgia,” Warnock tweeted. “We did it again.”
A victory by Warnock gives Democrats a 51-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate, which would make it slightly easier to advance President Joe Biden’s nominees for judicial and administrative posts. Most legislation would still require Republican support.
Also, a 51-49 Democrat advantage in the Senate would mean that the party would no longer have to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Republicans and will not have to rely on Vice President Kamala Harris to break as many tie votes.
The runoff set early voting records in Georgia in a race that has become the most expensive of the 2022 U.S. midterm election season, with more than $400 million spent so far. The contest went to a runoff after neither candidate secured 50% of the vote Nov. 8.
At least 1.9 million people cast their votes before Election Day, equal to 47% of the Nov. 8 turnout, and state election official Gabe Sterling has said he expected 1 million more would vote Tuesday.