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Second round | Georgia votes for its senator, new test for Biden

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(Washington) A pastor against a former star of American football: the inhabitants of the State of Georgia decide between two candidates for the Senate on Tuesday, in a vote with serious consequences for the continuation of the mandate of Joe Biden.

Democrat Raphael Warnock, outgoing senator, is opposed to a colt of Donald Trump, the sportsman Herschel Walker, for the last act of the midterm legislative elections. The two candidates have already clashed in November and a second round is organized to decide between them.

“The eyes of the nation are on you,” pleaded President Joe Biden, calling on voters in this state with a large African-American population to turn out in large numbers at the polls, which opened at 7 a.m. local time.


PHOTO CHENEY ORR, REUTERS

Incumbent Senator, Democrat Raphael Warnock

The balance of power in the US Congress certainly does not depend on this seat: the Democrats have already made sure to keep control of the Senate at the end of the “midterms”. The Republicans meanwhile took over the House.

But it would offer Republicans broader blocking powers over Joe Biden’s policies. 700 days from the next election, the opposition hopes to break the dynamics of the president.

$400 million

On the Democratic side, a victory would consolidate the very thin majority of Joe Biden’s party in the Senate, allowing him to exercise greater influence in essential parliamentary committees. It would also significantly limit the influence of a moderate Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, gravedigger of several major projects of the Biden administration.

To realize their ambitions, the Democrats have called on their heavyweights to the rescue. Former President Barack Obama, unquestionably one of the most charismatic figures of the party, was for example campaigning in Atlanta last week.

A sign of the importance and interest in this duel: nearly 400 million dollars were injected into the ballot, the most expensive of the mid-term elections.

It looks tight. The few polls show the candidates neck and neck and the final results may not be known for several days.

Atypical profiles

Historically won over to Republicans, Georgia took America by surprise by preferring Joe Biden to Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, then sending two Democrats to the Senate two months later.

This state bordering Florida once again finds itself at the heart of all desires. This time, it is also the atypical profile of the candidates that stands out.

With several athletic records to his credit, Republican Herschel Walker, considered one of the greatest players in college football history, entered politics late in life.


PHOTO ALYSSA POINTER, REUTERS

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker waves to supporters.

The sixty-year-old seeks to seize the seat of Raphael Warnock, who before becoming a senator from Georgia in 2021 served as a pastor from Martin Luther King’s former desk in Atlanta.

The campaign of the pro-Trump African-American candidate, however, has been splashed by several scandals. Herschel Walker, known for his anti-abortion positions, has among other things been accused of having financed the abortions of several of his former companions.



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