(NEXSTAR) — The maps are highlighted, the video board is powering up, and election analyst Steve Kornacki is preparing to reprise his role as the nation’s most beloved screen swiper during the Georgia Senate runoff election.
Between Election Day in November and the morning, four days later, when most news organizations declared Joe Biden president-elect, the NBC News analyst served as part national babysitter and part human calculator for a nation on edge.
Kornacki will reassume the role Tuesday as Georgians cast their ballots in two critical races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and, in turn, the fate of President-elect Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. Those who watched his marathon performance in November likely had no doubt that Kornacki would be ready for what could be a long night of results coming out of Georgia.
“I’m heading to the studio and I won’t leave until we have a result,” Kornacki tweeted Tuesday, along with an image of marked-up maps of Georgia he was apparently planning to use as notes.
In November, MSNBC couldn’t resist milking his celebrity — setting up a “Kornacki cam” to follow him during breaks and trying to turn his khakis into a fashion craze — but Kornacki and CNN’s John King proved tireless and indispensable for a nation seeking answers.
Democrats needed to win both races to seize Senate control — and with it control of the new Congress when Biden takes office in two weeks.
The polls are set to close at 7 p.m. EST on Election Day, and that’s when ballot counting can begin. Absentee ballots must be received by the close of polls to be counted. Military and overseas ballots postmarked by Tuesday and received by Friday will be counted, and absentee voters also have until Friday to fix any problems so their votes can be counted. Translation: it’s not clear when we’ll have enough votes tabulated to call either race.
The unusual importance for the runoffs transformed Georgia, once a solidly Republican state, into one of the nation’s premier battlegrounds during the final days of Trump’s presidency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.