The two Democratic candidates in Georgia have been projected as the winners of the January 5 senatorial runoffs, The Associated Press reported Wednesday afternoon.
The Associated Press, which calls an election race after a candidate ceases to have a path to victory, called the Georgia Senate race for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff on Wednesday afternoon. Ossoff was running against incumbent Senator David Perdue (R-GA).
Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock, reports AP, also secured victory over Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), who assumed the seat after former Senator Johnny Isakson, who retired for health reasons on New Year’s Eve 2019. Warnock, 51, will serve the remainder of Isakson’s third Senate term, which doesn’t expire until 2022.
Georgia hasn’t been represented by a Democrat in the U.S. Senate since 2005.
DecisionDeskHQ, an elections tracker that has also called the races, shows Ossoff leading Perdue by about .6% of the vote and Warnock leading Loeffler by nearly 1.5%. NBC News, The New York Times, Fox News, and The Washington Post have also projected the two Democrats as victorious.
The outcome of the dual runoff elections means the U.S. Senate will be split 50-50, with Republicans holding half of the seats in the chamber and the Democrats, including two independents who caucus with Democrats, also holding 50 seats in the chamber. A Vice President Kamala Harris could then serve as a tie-breaker, giving Democrats the slimmest possible Senate majority.
Loeffler maintained in a speech shortly after midnight that a “path to victory” was still available to her in the race, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“This is a game of inches,” said Loeffler. “We are going to win this election.”
In a statement also after midnight, Purdue’s campaign said “time and transparency” would be necessary to be certain of the election results. “We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted. We believe in the end, Senator Perdue will be victorious,” said his campaign.
Statement from our campaign: pic.twitter.com/evoAgl05dy
— David Perdue (@Perduesenate) January 6, 2021
In a speech made before outlets called the race, Ossoff said that his Senate campaign “has been about health and jobs and justice for the people of this state — for all the people of this state.”
“Whether you were for me, or against me, I’ll be for you in the U.S. Senate. I will serve all the people of the state,” he added.
Thank you, Georgia. https://t.co/IupT2d69aF
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) January 6, 2021
Warnock, whose victory was projected prior to Ossoff’s, said in a virtual speech: “We were told that we couldn’t win this election. But tonight, we proved that with hope, hard work, and the people by our side, anything is possible.”
LIVE: Reverend Warnock Addresses Supporters on Election Night https://t.co/3AjHzC35qy
— Senator-Elect Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) January 6, 2021