While some votes are still outstanding, Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff seem likely to win their runoffs against incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
Warnock currently leads Loeffler by some 36,000 votes out of 4.4 million cast, while Ossoff trails Perdue by a little over 1,000 votes. However, as Georgia Public Broadcasting reports:
“With most of Georgia’s votes counted in the Jan. 5 runoffs that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, the remaining outstanding ballots likely favor Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff enough for narrow victories, according to unofficial election results, early voting data and historic election results.
“Just over a dozen counties have ballots left to be counted, including about 19,000 in heavily Democratic DeKalb County.”
According to the New York Times:
The Cook Political Report has called both races for Warnock and Ossoff, based on the makeup of counties with outstanding votes.
If their predictions hold up, as seems likely, it means Democrats will take control of the Senate this month, with 50 senators and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking ties.
Warnock gave a speech shortly after midnight Wednesday in which he said, “Every day I’m in the United States Senate, I will fight for you.”
Ossoff, whose race is closer, had not made a public statement early Wednesday morning.
Republican Public Service Commission member Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, part of the board that regulates Georgia Power and other utilities, appears to have retained his seat with 52% of the vote versus Democrat Daniel Blackman.
All three races were forced into a runoff when no candidate won over 50% of the vote on Nov. 3.
With 45,870 ballots cast, turnout in Clarke County was just 6,000 less than the November general election, which is remarkable for a runoff, especially when UGA students are still on winter break. Warnock received 71.7% of the vote in Clarke County, Ossoff 71% and Blackman 69.8%.
Several counties with outstanding ballots have called off counting for the night, including DeKalb and Chatham, which is also majority Democratic. Results are not likely to be officially certified until Friday at the earliest, and under state law any candidate who loses by less than half a percentage point has the right to a recount.
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