There is still no winner of the two Senate races in Georgia, which means that both races could advance to a runoff election on January 5. With neither party having a clear majority, this could leave the Senate in limbo when it reconvenes early next year.
Thanks to a special election to determine who would replace former Senator Johnny Isakson, Georgia had two Senate elections this year.
Senator Kelly Loeffler was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to replace Isakson but faced challenges from 20 other candidates in the special election. If no candidate receives over 50% of the vote under the law, then the race must advance to a runoff election. Loeffler, who received around 26% of the vote, will advance to the runoff alongside Democrat Raphael Warnock, who received around 32% of the vote on Tuesday.
The second Senate race in the state was more straightforward as Republican Senator David Perdue was up for reelection this year. He was then challenged by Democrat Jon Ossoff who unsuccessfully ran for the House in 2017. It may have looked as if Perdue had enough votes to win the race earlier in the week, but by Friday, his vote share declined to just under 50%.
On Thursday, Perdue’s campaign expressed how confident they were at winning the reelection because Ossoff had a history of losing in the state. During the runoff election in 2017, Ossoff was defeated by former Congresswoman Karen Handel, which was then known as the most expensive House race in history.
The statement said, “Perdue will finish this election in first place with substantially more votes than his Democrat opponent.” Adding that, “If overtime is required when all of the votes have been counted, we’re ready, and we will win.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, also said in a statement Perdue “won this race in regular time and will do the same in overtime.”
NRSC executive director Kevin McLaughlin said, “Georgians have rejected Jon Ossoff’s liberal, socialist agenda not once, not twice, but three times. And the fourth time will not be the charm, but instead, a perfectly miserable experience for Jon Ossoff, national Democrats and their shared dream of a socialist America,” as he referred to Ossoff’s previous losses in the congressional election and his lower vote share this year.
However, the Ossoff campaign was also bullish about its chances in a runoff election.
“The votes are still being counted, but we are confident that Jon Ossoff’s historical performance in Georgia has forced Senator David Perdue to continue defending his indefensible record of unemployment, disease, and corruption. When a runoff is called and held in January, Georgians are going to send Jon to the Senate to defend their health care and put the interests of working families and small businesses ahead of corporate lobbyists,” Ossoff campaign manager Ellen Foster said in a statement.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the runoff elections are expected to be incredibly expensive. Ahead of the November election, Ossoff and Perdue’s campaigns spent almost $45 million combined, and Warnock and Loeffler’s campaign spent nearly $40 million combined.
With the Senate’s fate in the balance, both the national Republican and Democratic organizations will likely throw money at the races ahead of the runoff in an attempt to push their candidates to victory.