With Jon Ossoff on course to defeat David Purdue, Democrats are likely to have control of both rungs of Congress.
Democrat Raphael Warnock, a senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, scripted a historic victory by edging Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler in a tight race that could see Democrats take control of the Senate. Multiple outlets called the race for Warnock after he led his opponent by tens of thousands of votes. Raphael Warnock becomes the state's first Black senator and the first Black Democratic senator from the South. "Tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible," Warnock, 51, told supporters in a virtual speech. Kelly Loeffler, much like Donald Trump, hasn't conceded the race, stating, "We have a path to victory, and we're staying on it," reported NPR. The Senate races of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia were crucial to Democrats with the party seeking to control Senate. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect campaigned to support the pair, on Sunday. Joe Biden's victory in Georgia proved to be a kick in the teeth for Trump in the Presidential elections in November 2020. It was the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had won Georgia since the 1990s.
Warnock is also the first Georgia Democrat elected to the Senate in 20 years. A lot of credit for Warnock's victory and Ossoff's potential victory goes to voter registration drives conducted by former state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams over the years along with many grassroots level activists.
Jon Ossoff headed for victory
Fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff is also leading the Senate race against David Purdue by more than 10,000 votes and that will give the Democrats the majority in both houses of Congress. Even though the Senate will be split 50-50, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have the power to break a tie in favor of Democrats. The high-stake races have seen close to $500 million being spent on advertising for the two races, according to the ad-tracking firm AdImpact. “When all the votes are counted we fully expect that Jon Ossoff will have won this election to represent Georgia in the United States Senate. The outstanding vote is squarely in parts of the state where Jon’s performance has been dominant,” said campaign manager Ellen Foster in a statement, reported Washington Times.
Trump muddled Republicans' chances in Georgia
Donald Trump's refusal to concede the Presidential election complicated matters for Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue. Two days prior to the Senate elections, Trump's call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger found its way to the press and showed the President pressurizing Raffensperger to overturn the election in his favor. The President also warned Raffensperger that Republicans in the state wouldn't turn out to vote if they didn't help him. The two candidates were forced to make a choice in either backing Trump in overturning the elections or accepting the election results. With the Republican party split on the decision, the voters also appear to have taken sides which may have harmed their chances at the ballot box. While Trump campaigned for the duo a day later the damage might have already been done. "Senator Perdue and Senator Loeffler are being whipsawed by the President on one side and by the Democratic money on the other side," said Heath Garrett, a campaign manager for former Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, reported CNN. He also said Trump's attacks on Governor Brian Kemp and Raffensperger were "counterproductive for trying to motivate grassroots, base Republicans to go vote."
Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue were accused of enriching themselves on the back of the pandemic while hiding the severity of the pandemic from the public. "Kelly Loeffler spends tens of millions of dollars to scare you," said Warnock in an ad. "She's trying to make you afraid of me because she's afraid of you. Afraid that you understand how she's used her position in the Senate to enrich herself and others like her. Afraid that you'll realize that we can do better."