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Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock
Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock AP; Getty Images

A brief history of Georgia runoffs

With Georgia's Senate race heading to a runoff yet again, here's a look at how both parties have fared in runoffs the last few decades.

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Georgia's Senate race is headed to a runoff, the NBC News Decision Desk is projecting, the second election cycle in a row with a runoff being needed to settle a Senate contest.

Runoffs occur in Georgia when no candidate wins a majority of the vote on the ballot — it's happened 10 times since the 1992 election cycle, and Republicans have won seven out of those 10, according to election results posted by the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

The two parties have largely split the runoffs over the last decade — Republicans won three (runoffs for the Public Service Commission in 2021 and 2018, as well as the 20218 secretary of state runoff) while Democrats won the two Senate runoffs in 2021.

Before that, Republicans won Senate runoffs in 2008 and 1992, as well as Public Service Commission runoffs in 2006 and 2008. Outside of the 2021 Senate runoffs, Democrats hadn't won one of these contests since 1998, a Public Service Commission runoff.

Democrats are hoping that they can re-capture the coalition that led them to successfully defeat GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in 2021. But the dynamics may hinge on the results of Senate races in Arizona and Nevada — with votes still being counted, either party will clinch the majority if they can win both those races, so it's unclear whether the December runoff between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will determine Senate control or not.