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all eyes on the peach state

Report: Georgia runoff could decide control of the Senate for the 2nd consecutive time

The close race between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker could lead to a situation in which a January runoff in Georgia decides control of the Senate for the second consecutive time, Politico reports.

Analysts from across the political spectrum expect the race to be close. Two polls from late July showed Warnock leading the former NFL star 48-45 and 46-42, respectively. In both cases, the pastor-turned-senator's edge was within the margin of error.

The problem is, thanks to the roughly 3 percent of voters who favor Libertarian Chase Oliver, neither major party candidate is on track to clear 50 percent. In that case, Warnock and Walker would face one another in a runoff in January.

That's exactly what happened last election cycle, when Sen. Jon Ossoff (D) defeated then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Warnock beat out then-Sen. David Purdue (R) in a special election. These two narrow victories, coming on the heels of President Biden's win in November, handed Democrats their current trifecta.

Republicans are almost certain to take back the House in November but face a far narrower path to reclaiming the Senate. Depending on how races in states like Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania turn out, there's a strong possibility that, come January, we might all be obsessively hitting "refresh" on the Georgia election results page once again.