Democrats on Wednesday completed a sweep of the two U.S. Senate seats up for grabs in runoff elections in Georgia, giving the party control of the chamber and boosting the prospects for President-elect Joe Biden’s ambitious legislative agenda.
Edison Research projected victory for Jon Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker, on Wednesday afternoon after fellow Democrat Raphael Warnock, a Baptist preacher, was projected as the victor in his Senate race in the early hours of Wednesday.
In Tuesday’s runoffs, Warnock defeated Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed a year ago to fill the seat of a retiring senator, and Ossoff beat David Perdue, who served a single term in the Senate.
Ossoff drew 50.3% and Perdue had 49.7% with 98% of the expected vote in, according to Edison. That pushed Ossoff’s lead beyond the margin needed to avoid a possible recount, and Edison said it expected his lead to grow.
The double Democratic triumph splits the Senate 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote giving Democrats control of the chamber. Each of the 50 states is represented by two senators in the 100-seat chamber.
The sweep by the two Democratic candidates gives their party control of both chambers of Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade, dramatically shifting the balance of power in Washington.