Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D), Herschel Walker (R), and Chase Oliver (L) are running to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate. Georgia voters will elect one senator in the general election on November 8, 2022.
After former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) resigned for health reasons in 2019, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed Kelly Loeffler (R) to the seat until a special election could be held to replace Isakson. Since no candidate won a majority of the vote in the special election on November 3, 2020, Loeffler and Warnock advanced to a runoff on January 5, 2021. Warnock defeated Loeffler in the runoff election, becoming the first Democrat to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate since 2005.
Warnock advanced to the 2022 general election after receiving the most votes in the Democratic Party primary on May 24. He serves as the senior pastor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s church (Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta, GA) while in the U.S. Senate. Warnock co-sponsored the Warnock-Cruz Amendment, which provides support for a bipartisan infrastructure project connecting Georgia and Texas. Warnock explained his decision to work with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), saying, “There is a road that runs through our humanity…that is larger than politics, bigger than partisan bickering, certainly bigger than race…and my job as a legislator, and our job as citizens, is to find our way to that road that connects us to one another…so that every child can have access to a good, quality education, so that everybody can have affordable health care…Our job is to build out that road!” As of July 2022, Warnock’s campaign raised nearly $85 million.
Walker also advanced to the 2022 general election after he received the most votes in the Republican Party primary on May 24. Walker is a Hall of Fame professional football player who attended the University of Georgia, represented the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics, and owned two food-supply businesses. Former President Donald Trump (R) appointed Walker to the Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018. Walker says he is running to save “our country and the great state of Georgia from President Biden’s disastrous agenda which has led to higher prices, out-of-control crime, dangerous open borders, and ‘America Last’ foreign policy. Weak leaders create bad results — and we are sick and tired of politicians not being held accountable for their actions.” As of July 2022, Walker’s campaign raised more than $20 million.
Oliver is a member of the Libertarian Party with a background in the import shipping industry. He says that he is running for office because he wants to be “a Senator that serves each and every individual, and not a political machine based in Washington DC. I want to represent you and not special interests which thrive on division, gridlock and partisan fighting. I would rather work for results.” As of July 2022, Oliver’s campaign has raised nearly $8,000.
As of July 2022, Warnock led the field in several polls. In Georgia, a general election advances to a runoff between the two top finishers if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. None of the candidates received this level of support in the July polls. A general runoff election will take place on December 6, 2022, if necessary. Warnock won the 2020 special election by a margin of 1.2 percentage points.
At the start of the 2022 election cycle, Inside Elections rated this state Battleground Democratic.
The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. Thirty-five of 100 seats are up for election, including one special election. Democrats have an effective majority, with the chamber split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) having the tie-breaking vote. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 21 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022.