US Senate: Georgia delivers final blow to Trump, elects first black Democrats Senator
London, Jan. 6, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Democrats won one U.S. Senate race in Georgia and led in another on Wednesday, moving closer to a sweep in a deep South state that would give them control of Congress and the power to advance President-elect Joe Biden’s policy goals.
Raphael Warnock, a Baptist preacher from the historic church of Martin Luther King Jr., beat Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler to become the first Black senator in Georgia’s history.
Jon Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker who at 33 would become the Senate’s youngest member, also declared victory with a narrow lead over incumbent David Perdue, although media including Edison Research had yet to call that race.
If upheld, the results would amount to a final defeat for outgoing President Donald Trump, who stands to be the first U.S. president since 1932 to lose the White House and both chambers of Congress in a single term.
Trump held rallies for both Republican candidates, but overshadowed the campaign with false accusations his own loss in the November presidential election in Georgia was tainted by fraud, repeatedly attacking Republican officials in the state.
With 98% of votes in and counting mostly stopped for the night, Warnock was ahead of Loeffler by 1.2 percentage points, roughly 54,000 votes, according to Edison Research. Ossoff led Perdue by more than 16,000 votes, or 0.4 percentage points, just shy of a 0.5 percent threshold to avoid a recount. Most outstanding votes were from Democratic-leaning areas.
Winning both contests would give Democrats control of the Senate, creating a 50-50 split and giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote once she and Biden take office on Jan. 20. The party already has a narrow majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Holding on to either seat would have effectively given Republicans a veto over Biden’s political and judicial appointees, as well as his legislative initiatives in areas from coronavirus relief to climate change, healthcare and justice.
The campaign’s final days were overshadowed by Trump’s attacks on his own election defeat in the state, including a recording of a phone call in which he hectored Republican Georgia officials to “find” enough votes make him the winner.