Democrats Revd Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are set to win the Georgia Senate runoffs, several pollsters are projecting.
With 97 percent of votes reported, Sen. David Perdue remains narrowly ahead of Ossoff, but the Democrat is catching him fast and looks as if he will win in another extraordinarily tight election. CBS, NBC and other major networks declared Warnock the victor in his race against Kelly Loeffler at just before 2 a.m. ET.
Perdue and Loeffler’s defeat would swing the Senate to a 50-50 split, with incoming VP Kamala Harris to break any ties. President-elect Joe Biden would therefore enter the White House in two weeks with a much greater chance of delivering on his campaign promises. Biden said the election of Warnock and Ossoff would result in the federal government sending out a third stimulus check of $2,000 when he stumped for the pair in Atlanta on Monday.
Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report called Warnock’s race at 9:40 p.m. ET on Tuesday. He was joined by Decision Desk HQ at 11:13 p.m. ET. Wasserman then projected Ossoff had beaten Perdue at 11:53 p.m. ET. ‘Congratulations to our next US senator, @ReverendWarnock,’ tweeted Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams at just past midnight. ‘Last January, I endorsed my dear friend in his quest to serve. Soon, he will walk those august halls & cast votes as a leader with courage, justice and integrity. God bless you and keep you in your service to us all.’
Revd Warnock delivered a victory speech from his home via a YouTube livestream at around 12:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning.
As in the 2020 presidential race, large turnout in Atlanta and Savannah was decisive for the Democrats. But Warnock and Ossoff also performed well in exurbs and suburbs like Conyers and Marietta.
Earlier in the night, President Trump appeared to allege that once again the election was being stolen, tweeting ‘Looks like they are setting up a big “voter dump” against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?’
Looks like they are setting up a big “voter dump” against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
In the days before the vote, both Republican senators had endorsed challenging the Electoral College certification of the 2020 presidential election. Loeffler and Perdue had also weathered criticism for suspicious stock sales in the lead-up to the economic crash caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdowns. And they faced an uphill struggle after various Trumpworld figures, such as Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, encouraged, a boycott of the runoffs as they continued to allege voter fraud in the November vote.
The Democrats had their problems too: Revd Warnock was accused of running over his ex-wife’s foot in a Business Insider story published just before Christmas, while a New York Times story depicted Ossoff as an opportunist with limited political experience. It sounds like they’ll fit in just fine in Washington.
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