The Georgia Senate runoff is shaping up to be a GOP free-for-all

The race between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker has become a proxy for Republican infighting, as well

(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

While the Democrats have already clinched control of the Senate for the coming legislative term, all eyes are nevertheless on Georgia. There, the runoff election between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and GOP challenger Herschel Walker will determine the breadth of the Democrats' lead, the subsequent tone of their majority, and the electoral cushioning they can expect in 2024, when the party will be defending 23 of the 33 Senate seats up for grabs.

Republicans, meanwhile, are focused on Georgia for an entirely different set of reasons. While a win in the Peach State would certainly help blunt the Democrats' Senate majority to a degree, the race has also become a proxy battleground in a larger schism working its way through the GOP as a whole — one fueled by the party's anemic midterm election showings, which have only exacerbated finger pointing between establishment leaders like Mitch McConnell and the ascendent MAGA wing of Donald Trump over who is to blame, and who will lead Republicans into 2024. Here's everything you need to know:

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Rafi Schwartz, The Week US

Rafi Schwartz has worked as a politics writer at The Week since 2022, where he covers elections, Congress and the White House. He was previously a contributing writer with Mic focusing largely on politics, a senior writer with Splinter News, a staff writer for Fusion's news lab, and the managing editor of Heeb Magazine, a Jewish life and culture publication. Rafi's work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GOOD and The Forward, among others.