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Map: High turnout powered Warnock to victory in Georgia Senate runoff

Raphael Warnock improved his numbers across the state Tuesday, while Herschel Walker struggled even in traditionally Republican areas.
Raphael Warnock
Raphael Warnock during an election night watch party Tuesday in Atlanta. John Bazemore / AP

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., kept his supporters energized ahead of Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoff, and it showed on the electoral map.

Turnout was high for Tuesday’s election, an NBC News analysis of election data shows, with runoff turnout at almost 90% of the general election’s level. 

That strong turnout was the key to Warnock’s victory, as the Democrat improved his results in almost two-thirds of Georgia’s 159 counties. The biggest improvements came in Stewart and Johnson counties, where Warnock’s share of the vote rose by more than 5 percentage points.

Warnock did better even in Republican areas of the state, as he improved his vote margin in 77 counties that voted for his GOP challenger, former football star Herschel Walker, in November’s election. Warnock also flipped two counties, Baldwin and Washington.

By comparison, seven of the 10 counties where turnout fell the most were counties Walker won in November, and Walker improved his vote share in just one county that Warnock carried in November.

Warnock entered Election Day with an early vote advantage, which was even more heavily Democratic than it was in the general election.

With more than 1.86 million mail-in and early votes cast ahead of Tuesday’s vote, registered Democrats accounted for 52% of that vote while Republicans accounted for just 39%, according to NBC News tracking data. That 13-point edge was greater than the 8-point advantage Democrats enjoyed going into the day of the general election, when party voters accounted for 49% of the early vote while Republicans cast 41% of those ballots.