Democrats appear poised to take over the Senate after the Senate runoffs in Georgia, The Associated Press reports.
Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, was projected by the Associated Press to defeat Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler as he led by about one percentage point with 98% of the vote counted.
Democrat Jon Ossoff leads Sen. David Perdue by about 0.4% but most of the remaining outstanding votes are in heavily Democratic areas around Atlanta. Decision Desk HQ called the race for Ossoff around 2 am but the AP and other outlets still consider the race too close to call. The New York Times projects Ossoff to win by about 1%. Candidates can request a recount if the margin is within 0.5%.
If Ossoff wins, Democrats would hold 50 seats in the Senate and take over the majority once Vice President Kamala Harris is sworn in as the president of the Senate.
Loeffler has not conceded:
Loeffler has not conceded the race and claimed on Tuesday night that she still had a path to victory.
Warnock said Wednesday that the state is “feeling a sense of hope this morning.”
"I am an iteration and an example of the American dream, he told CNN. "When I think about the arc of our history, what Georgia did last night is its own message in the midst of a moment in which so many people are trying to divide our country, at a time we can least afford to be divided."
“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,” he said Tuesday night. “So Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me and I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia, no matter who you cast your vote for in this election."
Ossoff declares victory:
Ossoff declared victory even as major media outlets held off on making a call in the race.
"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate," Ossoff said Wednesday. "Everybody who cast your ballot, everybody who put your faith and confidence in our democracy's capacity to deliver the representation that we deserve — 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."
Perdue has not conceded and hinted that he might challenge the result.
"As we've said repeatedly over the last several weeks and as recently as this evening, this is an exceptionally close election that will require time and transparency to be certain the results are fair and accurate and the voices of Georgians are heard,” his campaign said in a statement. "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."