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LIVE: Too Close to Call in Georgia U.S. Senate Race

UPDATE 9:37 – CNN’s Van Jones Calls Walker “Insult to Black Community”

Several political commentators have questioned the former football star’s viability as a candidate.

“Tonight is about Trump picking somebody who frankly, used to be a hero,” Jones said during a CNN panel. “Herschel Walker used to be an inspiration. Now it means insult. He’s an insult to the Black community. And what you may see tonight is people coming out not just to vote in favor of a senator 

UPDATE: 9:24 – Georgia Secretary of State’s office tells CNN, “It’s going to be a long night. The longer it takes to count the ballots the worse it gets for Republicans.

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UPDATE: 9:15 – It’s a seesaw battle right now as the lead switches back and forth between Warnock and Walker. Keep in mind that day-of votes are just now being tallied. And those votes historically favor Republicans.

DEVELOPING STORY: Football star and businessman Herschel Walker has taken an early lead over Raphael Warnock, the pro-abortion pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church who was once accused of running over his ex-wife’s foot.

With 58 percent of the estimated vote tallied, Walker led Warnock by 50.72% to 49.28%.

Walker’s extraordinary performance in the race has caused shocked among the Drive By Media on CNN and MSNBC.

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There are still many votes to be counted, but Walker’s early surge has Republicans hoping for what would be a come-from-behind miracle win.

Retired firefighter Keith Fields, 58, showed up an hour before polls opened in Smyrna to cast his ballot for Walker because of his stance on immigration, taxes and abortion without exceptions.

“It’s not so much Herschel as the man – but I do like the man – but I’m also voting for the policies that he is going to vote for,” Fields said.

The runoff set early voting records in Georgia in a race that has become the most expensive of the 2022 U.S. midterm election season, with more than $400 million spent so far. The contest went to a runoff after neither candidate secured 50% of the vote on Nov. 8.

Why Does the Election Matter?

Democrats already control the Senate, but the result in Georgia will still have a measurable impact on the chamber.

A win by Warnock would mean that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will be able to more easily pass bills that are high priorities for Democrats. The individual power of Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to block Democratic legislation, as they have done in the past, would be diluted if Warnock voted with the rest of his caucus.

However, if Manchin and Sinema vote together they could still stall Democratic initiatives, although they don’t always agree on policy.

A Walker win would mean that the Senate is right back to the 50-50 split of the past two years. That means Manchin, Sinema or any other Democrat unhappy with a bill Schumer is promoting could side with Republicans to block its passage.

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