AP calls Georgia’s U.S. Senate races for Ossoff, Warnock

Senate runoff showdown
Senate runoff showdown(WRDW)
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 1:08 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2021 at 2:45 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Small. Tiny. Razor-thin. In the past several hours since the polls closed in Georgia, those have just been a scant few of the words used to describe the margins between the two sets of candidates in Georgia’s Senate runoffs.

The races pit Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue against Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively. All four were on the Nov. 3 general election ballot, but none got a sufficient majority of votes to claim a seat.

The runoffs have gained the attention of the nation because the outcome could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Let’s take a look at the races:

Loeffler too far behind to catch up, AP decides

The Associated Press declared Democrat Raphael Warnock the winner of one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs Wednesday, which would make him the first Black senator in his state’s history and put the Senate majority within his party’s reach.

Results showed Warnock with or 51 percent, compared to Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler’s 49 percent.

It’s unclear whether there are still mail-in and provisional ballots to be counted.

Under Georgia law, a trailing candidate may request a recount when the margin of an election is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.

The Associated Press declared Warnock the winner after an analysis of outstanding votes showed there was no way for Loeffler to catch up to his lead.

News 12 has not called the race, even though we’re reporting that AP has called it, as have NBC and CBS.

AP, others project an Ossoff victory

As protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press, CBS News, and NBC News projected Jon Ossoff would defeat Sen. David Perdue.

Each candidate had about 50 percent of the votes on Wednesday morning, although the one with more votes shifted back and forth all overnight. As of Wednesday afternoon, Ossoff had a slim lead.

At 8 a.m., Ossoff delivered live remarks on the results in the runoff election, in which he seemed to be claiming victory and thanked voters.

“It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate,” he begins. “Thank you for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me.”

He says in the remarks that he will work “to support a robust public health response” to coronavirus and to rush direct economic relief to those who need it.

“I will give everything I’ve got to ensuring that Georgia’s interests are represented in the U.S. Senate,” he says.

“I am honored — honored — by your support, by your confidence, by your trust, and I will look forward to serving you in the United States Senate with integrity, with humility, with honor and getting things done for the people of Georgia.”

Watch the remarks below:

Trump spreads praise for Perdue, Loeffler

President Donald Trump seems to be acknowledging Republicans’ losses in the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia.

Trump used a rally of supporters in Washington to rail against what he described as “weak Republicans.”

But he singled out the two GOP senate candidates in Georgia, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, for praise.

Trump said “they fought a good race, never had a shot.”

Democrat Raphael Warnock beat Loeffler on Tuesday, according to AP projections. And Democrat Jon Ossoff is holding onto his lead over Perdue, but it’s too early to call that race. An Ossoff victory would give Democrats control of the Senate.

What are the local results?

In Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoffs, Richmond County showed its blue colors while neighboring Columbia County stayed steadfastly red, according to statistics.

But they had two things in common:

  • Voter turnout was high.
  • Democrats dominated the mail-in ballots, as they did in the Nov. 3 general election.

In Richmond County, Warnock received 69.88 percent of the vote while Ossoff garnered a similar 69.69 percent in the county.

In Columbia County, Perdue received 63.29 percent of the vote while Loeffler received 63.21 percent.

But even in Columbia County, the Democrats outperformed the Republicans in mail-in absentee ballots.

Warnock thanks state as Loeffler pledges to keep fighting

A bit before midnight in Georgia, Rev. Raphael Warnock took the lead from Sen. Kelly Loeffler after a large cache of votes were tabulated from Democratic-heavy DeKalb County.

For several hours, it appeared Loeffler was maintaining a lead. The DeKalb count changed that quickly.

Warnock’s supporters in the Atlanta suburb came out in force for the Democratic candidate, helping him gain a 30,000+ vote lead over Loeffler.

At last check with 98 percent of precincts reporting, Warnock had 50.40 percent of the vote to Loeffler’s 49.60 percent.

Loeffler took the stage at a GOP watch party in Atlanta where she said she believed she still had a chance to win.

“We have a path to victory and we’re staying on it,” Loeffler said.

While very few news organizations had called the race for Warnock, fellow Democrat and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams congratulated him.

Warnock himself spoke a short time later in front of a sign that said, “Thank you, Georgia.”

“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,” Warnock said.

Raphael Warnock

LIVE NOW: The Rev. Raphael Warnock is set to speak soon as he maintains a 30,000 vote lead on Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Posted by News 12 NBC 26 on Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The consequences of a close vote

On Wednesday morning, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s staff scheduled an update on election progress. Watch the update:

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