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US politics: the Democrats seal the absolute majority in the Senate with the victory of Georgia

origin 1Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock speaks during a nightly campaign party, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Atlanta. © AP Photo

Democrats sealed an overall Senate victory after a runoff in the state of Georgia saw their candidate secure an expected victory over the Republican challenger.

incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock blow Herschel Walker — a former pro American football player who was backed by Donald Trump — in Tuesday’s vote, with Walker conceding.

It means Democrats have an overall majority in the Senate for the remainder of President Joe Biden’s current term and cap off a disappointing midterm cycle for Republicans in the last big vote of the year.

With Warnock’s second runoff victory in as many years, Democrats will have a 51-49 Senate majority, gaining one seat from the current 50-50 split. The US will have a divided government, however, with Republicans narrowly tipping over control of the House.

“After a hard-fought campaign — or, should I say, campaigns — it is an honor for me to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people spoke,” Warnock, 53, told jubilant supporters who gathered filled a hotel ballroom in downtown Atlanta.

“I often say that a vote is a kind of prayer for the world we want for ourselves and for our children,” said Warnock, a Baptist pastor and his state’s first black senator. “Georgia, you prayed with your lips and your legs, your hands and your feet, your heads and your hearts. You’ve worked hard, and here we are together.”

In last month’s election, Warnock led Walker by 37,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast, but fell short of the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff. The senator appeared to be headed for a larger final margin in Tuesday’s ballot, with Walker, a football legend at the University of Georgia and in the NFL, unable to overcome a series of damaging allegations, including claims he paid for two ex girlfriends abortions despite support for a nationwide ban on the procedure.

“The numbers don’t seem to add up,” Walker, an ally and friend of former President Donald Trump, told fans Tuesday at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. “There are no excuses in life, and I’m not going to make excuses now because we had such a bad fight.”