Georgia Races Razor-Tight as Senate Hangs in the Balance

Control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance as Georgia officials count the results of two runoff elections.

Both races were expected to be close, and early returns showed the margins were indeed razor-thin. The New York Times’ “needle” gave a slight advantage to the two Democrats based on its analysis of early returns, but the race remained far too close to call, and could take days to sort out.

Sen. David Perdue is seeking reelection against Democrat Jon Ossoff, while Rev. Raphael Warnock is running against appointed incumbent Kelly Loeffler, a Republican. The Democrats were expected to hold a lead among early and absentee voters, while Republicans hoped to surpass that with precinct voters on Election Day.

Republicans will retain their Senate majority if they can win at least one of the races. If Democrats win both seats, the upper chamber would be divided 50-50, giving Kamala Harris the power to cast tie-breaking votes as vice president.

None of the candidates won a majority in the November election, forcing both races to runoffs on Tuesday. The races attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in ad spending, as Democrats hoped to give President-elect Biden control of both houses of Congress. Hollywood donors gave heavily to the two Democrats, and used social media to urge Georgians to get to the polls.

Tyler Perry flew back to the state to vote, after he said on Twitter that his absentee ballot never arrived. He said the election was “too important to miss.”

“Y’all get out and vote, get out and vote, get out and vote,” Perry said in a Twitter video.

The Republican candidates, meanwhile, made the race about preventing “radical socialists” from claiming united control of government. Loeffler urged supporters to help “hold the line” against the Democrats.

“We’re the only ones left who can stop them,” Perdue said in one ad. “We win Georgia, we save America.”

Meanwhile, President Trump continued to claim that he had won Georgia in November, and that the election had been rigged against him. On Sunday, the Washington Post published an audio of a phone call between Trump and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he urged the state official to “find” more than 11,000 ballots to tip the presidential race in his favor in the state.

Congress is set to meet in joint session on Wednesday to confirm Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. But several Republican senators have said they will object to the vote count in several states Biden won.

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