Jon Ossoff secured a significant victory in Georgia on Wednesday. The defeat of Republican David Perdue in the runoff election at the state. This result will give the Democratic party control of the Senate.
At around 4 p.m. EST, the Associated Press already called the race in favor of Ossoff. Currently, Ossoff leads by less than 0.6%. While this difference is slim, it is still above the 0.5%-point threshold that would have called for an automatic recount.
Ossoff’s race against Perdue was one of the two runoffs that took place in Georgia. In the other one, Democrat Raphael Warnock won against Republican Kelly Loeffler.
The runoffs determine which political party will control the upper chamber of Congress. They also determine how easily President-elect Joe Biden can push his political agenda through Congress.
Democrats To Control Senate
The Democratic sweep of the Georgia runoffs now ensures that the said party will have control of the Senate in the next term.
Prior to the Tuesday runoffs, the GOP had 50 seats in the Senate while the Democrats had 48.
Now, with the victories, the Democratic party also has 50 seats. However, they will effectively have the majority since Vice President-elect Kalama Harris will be casting the tie-breaking vote.
Ossoff, who is 33 years old, will become the youngest member of the Senate. He first rose to political prominence in the United States when he ran for a House seat in 2017 during a special election.
He did not come out victorious during that special election and he lost to Rep. Karen Handel. However, due to the said election becoming the most expensive one in U.S. history for a House seat, Ossoff gained traction in his Senate race against Perdue.
The race between Ossoff and Perdue went on to a runoff after neither of them went past the 50% threshold to win the November elections outright.
However, the campaign between these two candidates was consumed by COVID-19 relief package negotiations in Congress. It was also consumed by President Trump’s legal challenges to overturn the results of the presidential race.
But the runoff campaign between the two men became consumed over the past two months by congressional negotiations over a coronavirus pandemic relief package and President Trump’s repeated attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Ossoff’s win in the recent runoff was partly brought about by a large Democratic turnout. This happened particularly in Atlanta and in the suburbs surrounding it. Republicans, however, had hoped that a strong turnout on Election Day will help them clinch the seat.
While the turnout for the runoffs had set records in Georgia, the Republicans were not able to keep the seats in the Senate. This will also be the first time that Georgia will have two Democrats representing the state in the Senate since the year 2000.
However, Ossoff and his fellow Democrat Warnock’s victory was overshadowed by riots happening in Washington DC. Thousands of Trump supporters have marched to and breached the US capitol while legislators were in Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential elections. The chaos caused by the riots has forced everyone in the Capitol, as well as surround buildings, to evacuate.