Democrat Raphael Warnock holds narrow poll lead in crucial Georgia Senate runoff – live

Two years ago, Georgia was the state that decided control of the Senate in Democrats’ favor. This year, its importance will be slightly diminished – but that doesn’t mean the results of Tuesday’s run-off election between Democratic senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker won’t be closely watched.

Democrats won enough seats in last month’s midterm elections to control Congress’s upper chamber for another two years, but only by a margin so slim they’ll need vice-president Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes on legislation Republicans don’t support. But if Warnock wins, the Democrats will control the chamber outright, and the influence of senators like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who repeatedly acted as spoilers for some of Joe Biden’s policy proposals over the past two years, will be lessened.

A victory by Walker will put Republicans one seat away from retaking control of the chamber, and perhaps mark the unofficial start of the campaign to do so in 2024. In that election, Democrats will be defending Senate seats in a number of states that typically vote Republican, such as Montana, Ohio and West Virginia. They would only need to lose one for the GOP to return to the majority.

Key events

Republican hopes of a victory by Herschel Walker in Georgia are fading, Politico reports.

Not only is Walker behind in the few polls conducted in the state since last month’s midterms, but he’s been dogged by gaffes and allegations that he paid for women to have abortions even though he supports banning the procedure nationwide.

“I think a lot of Republicans are hoping we’ll be pleasantly surprised, but there aren’t a lot of indications out there to base that on,” former chair of Georgia’s Cobb County GOP Jason Shepherd told Politico. “Just a lot of hope and faith in things unseen. It’s the Christmas season, after all.”

The Republican candidate didn’t present himself well in an interview with the publication. They report that, “In a brief interview with POLITICO on Saturday, Walker seemed to mistake which chamber of Congress he was running for and also appeared to think the outcome of his race would determine control of the Senate.”

Even the weather could work against Walker. The GOP is hoping that their voters will turnout massively on election day to cast ballots, but it’s supposed to rain across the state tomorrow.

With less than 24 hours until polls open in Georgia, here’s a reminder from CNN on how much Democrats want to see Raphael Warnock re-elected to the Senate.

The party has spent massively on his run-off election in the weeks since last month’s midterm election, and outspent the Republican campaign for Herschel Walker:

On the eve of the Georgia runoff, some eye-popping numbers: Democrats have more than doubled GOP ad spending since Nov. 9 — $55.1 to $25.8 million. From campaigns and outside groups, it all ads up to about $80.9 million since Election Day, my colleague @DavidWright_7 reports.

— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) December 5, 2022

Jury to begin deliberations in Trump Organization fraud trial

Jurors in Manhattan will today start deliberating over whether to convict the Trump Organization in its tax fraud trial, Politico reports.

Former president Donald Trump’s business is facing $1.6 m in fines if jurors determine that it avoided taxes through a scheme to pay its executives with under-the-table perks. Trump is not facing charges in the case, but a conviction could further tarnish his reputation as he once again seeks the White House in 2024.

Closing arguments wrapped up last week, and a verdict could come as soon as today. Defense attorneys have argued Trump knew nothing about the scheme, and said Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer who has already pleaded guilty to tax charges, is to blame for the fraud.

Two years ago, Georgia was the state that decided control of the Senate in Democrats’ favor. This year, its importance will be slightly diminished – but that doesn’t mean the results of Tuesday’s run-off election between Democratic senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker won’t be closely watched.

Democrats won enough seats in last month’s midterm elections to control Congress’s upper chamber for another two years, but only by a margin so slim they’ll need vice-president Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes on legislation Republicans don’t support. But if Warnock wins, the Democrats will control the chamber outright, and the influence of senators like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who repeatedly acted as spoilers for some of Joe Biden’s policy proposals over the past two years, will be lessened.

A victory by Walker will put Republicans one seat away from retaking control of the chamber, and perhaps mark the unofficial start of the campaign to do so in 2024. In that election, Democrats will be defending Senate seats in a number of states that typically vote Republican, such as Montana, Ohio and West Virginia. They would only need to lose one for the GOP to return to the majority.

Democrat Warnock holds narrow lead in final stretch of campaigning for Georgia Senate seat

Good morning, US politics blog readers. Democratic senator Raphael Warnock appears to have a narrow lead in the runoff election for Georgia’s Senate seat against GOP challenger Herschel Walker, polls indicate. If he wins, Democrats will be able to pad their majority in Congress’s upper chamber, and have an easier time defending their control when legislative elections are held in 2024. But if Walker wins, Democrats’ hopes that Georgia has become a purple state may end up being put on ice. We’re one day away from finding out which side has the momentum.

Here’s a rundown of what’s going on today:

  • The supreme court at 10am eastern time will hear arguments in a case over whether Colorado’s anti-discrimination law violates the free speech rights of a web designer because she only wants to create wedding pages for heterosexual couples.

  • Joe Biden, fresh off welcoming French president Emmanuel Macron to Washington, hosts the congressional ball at 6.30pm.

  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre briefs reporters at 2.30pm.

source: theguardian.com