The Republican Party surprised many analysts with a successful election night in the House of Representatives as well as in its ability to fend off Senate attacks.
And the drama is not over. In Georgia, there will be runoff elections for both Senate seats because no candidate won 50% of the vote. If the Democratic candidates win, the Senate will swing to the left.
The Democratic candidates, businessman Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock, face stern tests against incumbent Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
Georgia law requires runoffs in races unless a candidate wins a majority of the vote. Perdue leads Ossoff 49.8% to 47.9% and secured more votes than either President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden did.
Warnock topped Loeffler with 32.9% of the vote to 25.9%, though the incumbent’s results were hurt by a challenge from fellow Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who won 20% of the vote in a 21-candidate field.
Early, in-person voting begins Dec. 14 and the runoff election is set for Jan. 5. This time – good news for the GOP, many say – the White House won’t be on the ticket. Millions of dollars now likely will pour into both of these races, but without Trump or Biden on the ballot, Democrats are less likely to succeed.
Georgia Democratic activist Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost a race for governor in 2018, confirmed Sunday that her party plans to dedicate unprecedented resources for the runoffs, telling CNN’s “State of the Union” that she doesn’t agree with analysts predicting the GOP will maintain a Senate majority.
“We will have the investment and resources that have never followed a runoff in Georgia for Democrats,” Abrams said. Republicans are currently on course to win 50 seats in the 100-seat chamber while Democrats have 48. If the chamber has a 50-50 tie, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would have the deciding vote.