Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeats Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia runoff

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock successfully fended off a challenge from Republican football star Herschel Walker Tuesday, NBC News projects.

This combination of photos shows, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 3, 2021, left, and Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaking in Perry, Ga., Sept. 25, 2021. Walker is in a runoff election with incumbent Warnock. (AP Photo) (Uncredited, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ATLANTA, Georgia – Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican football star Herschel Walker on Tuesday in Georgia’s Senate runoff election, NBC News projects, handing President Joe Biden and his party a key win.

Warnock’s victory will give Democrats an outright majority in the Senate after two years under a 50-50 divide, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes.

Senate Republicans had been hoping to get a headstart on the 2024 election when the electoral map heavily favors the GOP. But Walker was dogged by scandals, a more than 2-to-1 spending disadvantage, and lack of confidence in both the candidate and his campaign from some GOP officials.

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