January 7, 2021
Democrats appear all but assured of retaking the Senate in with an electrifyingly clear victory in one Georgia runoff election and a likely win in the other, Salon reports.
Indeed, the Associated Press has projected the Reverend Raphael Warnock, pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, as the winner of his runoff election against Senator Kelly Loeffler (R); while Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a narrow lead over Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue (R) in their race, with most of the outstanding votes likely to come from heavily Democratic counties.
Warnock holds a 1.2% lead that The New York Times projects to grow closer to 2% once all of the results are in, putting the race well clear of recount territory.
As of midday on Wednesday, the Ossoff race still was too close to call, although the Democrat was in the lead. Compared to Warnock, Ossoff leds Perdue by a much narrower margin of less than 16,000 votes, or 0.36%, although the outstanding votes are expected to push his lead closer to 1%, according to the Times forecast. Perdue can request a recount if the race finishes within 0.5%.
Decision Desk HQ, which provides election data to various news outlets, called the race for Ossoff at around 2 a.m. (ET) but the Associated Press and other major news sources still view the race as too close to call.
According to Salon, the night marks a stark reversal from November’s election and from decades of the state’s electoral history. Although President-elect Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state in nearly 30 years, Perdue led Ossoff by about 88,000 votes in November but just failed to reach the 50% threshold needed to win outright. Biden’s victory margin over President Donald Trump was less than 12,000 votes, and it appears certain that both Democrats in the Senate runoffs will win by significantly more than that.
If Ossoff holds on, the Democrats would control 50 seats in the Senate. That would put them in the majority once Vice President-elect Kamala Harris takes over as president of the Senate and will give Democrats control of both chambers of Congress and the White House for the first time since early in Barack Obama’s first term.
“We were told that we couldn’t win this election,” Warnock said Tuesday in a victory speech delivered remotely on video. “But tonight we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”
Ossoff’s campaign manager Ellen Foster predicted that “when all the votes are counted we fully expect that Jon Ossoff will have won this election.”
Research contact: @Salon