Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are all but certain to win Georgia's runoff elections, and with them the U.S. Senate. As of 1:30 a.m. on the east coast, the Democratic candidates were either ahead in the vote count or neck-and-neck with only heavily blue areas left to report in, leaving scant chance of a Republican turnaround.
The impending wins cap a brief but transfixing campaign following president Trump's November defeat to president-elect Joe Biden. Georgia requires candidates to win more than half the votes; no-one met the threshold in the general election, triggering the January runoff.
Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue were originally favored to prevail. Coverage of their involvement in the 2020 congressional insider trading scandal, not to mention Trump's refusal to concede his own defeat, appears to have sharpened resolve among left-leaning voters.
Loeffler's blatantly racist campaign against Warnock, a black man, dovetailed with her declining opinion poll numbers as election day approached. But Ossoff's victory over Perdue—yet to be called by networks—was harder-fought and may yet fall within the automatic recount margin.
Turnout was reported at more than 4.3 million, with 2 million early votes, nearly 1 million absentee votes, and 1.2 million voting at the polls.
Democrats will control the presidency, the House and the Senate, but the 50-50 caucus split means vice president-elect Kamala Harris will have to break tied votes. Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) stint as Senate Majority Leader is all but over, with Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) all but certain to replace him.