With Senate control on the line, Republicans and Democrats began positioning themselves on Friday for a pair of high-stakes voting rounds in January in the Senate in Georgia that could serve as a referendum to cement or reverse the election results. of Tuesday, even as one of the races remained final.
Senator David Perdue, a Republican, was narrowly leading his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, in the misplaced race. But as the extended count dragged on, it fell below the 50% threshold needed to win outright. He was not expected to cross that bar, with most of the remaining votes coming from Democratic counties.
The Georgia Senate special election has been set for a run-off since Tuesday, when Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, and Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, emerged as the top two vote-givers in a crowded field vying to replace retirees. Senator Johnny Isakson.
Democrats are expected to win both seats on January 5 – a daunting task in a state with deep Conservative roots – to draw the Senate in a 50-50 tie, but they were riding a wave of liberal enthusiasm and demographic change that seemed to be on the way. point of delivering victory in Georgia to a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1992.
If Joseph R. Biden Jr. wins by winning the White House, his vice president could cast decisive votes to give the party de facto control.
Faced with such extraordinarily high stakes, both sides were quickly preparing for a nine-week end-of-year sprint that some say could ultimately cost at least an additional $ 100 million and put Georgia at the center of the political fray. of the country barely two weeks before the opening day.
Democrats across the country were already rallying to use the contests to complete Mr Biden’s victory and make possible the liberal agenda on healthcare, the economy and the environment he led.
“The change has happened in Georgia,” Ossoff said at a rally in Atlanta on Friday. “And Georgia is part of the coming change in America.”
Republicans were prepared to try to exploit the grievance of Mr. Trump’s staunchest supporters, hoping the president’s baseless fraud allegations and a negative reaction to his potential loss could propel them to victory in January. In the past 24 hours, Ms Loeffler has repeatedly tweeted her support for the president, who falsely claims the election is illegally stolen from him.
Ms Loeffler said she donated to a fund to fight for the president’s cause.
“Pray for four more years of @realDonaldTrump!” she wrote in another post.
With Mr. Trump defying the election results, it was difficult to predict how involved he might be in the Senate races. But early Friday morning, he implied in a tweet that the Democrats were still trying to claim power through nefarious means so that they could reverse Republican policies.
“End the filibuster, ‘Life’, 2A, and pack up and run the court.” The presidency becomes even more important, ”he wrote. “We will win!”