Political observers see race for Georgia’s Senate seat as key to balance of power

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 2:17 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The national spotlight was bright on Georgia during the 2020 election. Voters helped vault Democrat Joe Biden into the White House, and delivered Senate control to Democrats with the elections of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Polling shows Warnock with a large primary advantage, but more neck and neck in hypothetical general election matchups.

While Senator Warnock is facing a quick re-election bid after winning a special election, Georgia Democratic House Minority Leader James Beverly said he believes Warnock will defend the seat.

Beverly said, “He [Sen. Warnock] is tremendous and he’s doing the work of Georgians that we need done. And I think the people of Georgia are going to recognize him, send them back to D.C.”

Savannah Viar, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee says she expects high Republican turnout in Georgia’s primary, and says Republicans are hoping to convert some people who voted Democrat in 2020.

Viar said, “That might be what we call Biden disengaged or people that voted for Biden in 2020 but are not happy with what he and the Democrats like Raphael Warnock have delivered and are open to a conversation about what Republicans can do.”

Georgetown University political science professor Mark Rom broke down why he believes Georgia is the most important state in the 2022 election.

“This is going to be one of the most intensely fought Senate campaigns in the country,” Rom said. “It’s going to be a really, really close election, and if the Democrats win, they may be able to maintain control of the Senate. If they lose, they’re almost certain to lose control of the Senate. So it’s really a super important race.”

Recent polling suggests that Herschel Walker is likely to run away with the Republican Senate primary, setting up the potential head-to-head between Walker and Senator Warnock. Rom says that’s a neck and neck matchup which will attract a lot of attention.

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