The US state of Georgia decides whether Democrat Joe Biden can rule with a majority in the Senate. Apparently his party can win both seats. The candidates are already celebrating.
The Democrats of the future US President Joe Biden see themselves on the winning road in the decisive runoff elections for the US Senate in Georgia. “It feels like a completely new day,” said leading Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer on Wednesday – although the outcome of one of the two runoff elections was not yet considered certain.
Whether the Democrats will have a majority in the powerful Congress Chamber in Washington for the first time in six years depends on the outcome of the duel between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican incumbent David Perdue. After counting around 4.4 million or around 98 percent of the votes, Ossoff was over 16,370 votes ahead. It was expected that the lead would increase because the remaining votes would come from more democratic districts.
Ossoff declared himself the winner in the morning (local time). In a speech broadcast live, he said, “I am honored by your support, your confidence, your trust and I look forward to serving you.”
On the other hand, the victory of candidate Raphael Warnock against the Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler was already certain, as it emerged on Wednesday morning (local time) from forecasts by TV stations and the AP news agency. Most recently, Warnock was well ahead of Loeffler by 53,430 votes.
Should the Democrats win both runoff elections, they would de facto have a majority in the Senate. They already dominate the House of Representatives, the other Chamber of Congress.
Result could be delayed
The final result of the runoff could be delayed, however: In Georgia, the losing candidate has the right to request a recount if the difference between the number of votes and the winner is 0.5 percent or less. Perdue’s campaign team said that “time and transparency” would be needed for a fair result. All legal steps will be taken to ensure that all votes have been properly counted. The elected US President Donald Trump had advertised Perdue and Loeffler.
Raphael Warnock declares himself the winner in the Georgia Senate election. (Source: Reuters)
“I feel honored by the trust”
Warnock thanked the voters shortly before the US media announced the victory. “I am honored by the trust you have placed in me. And I promise you tonight, I will go to the Senate to work for all of Georgia. No matter who you are for in this election, at this moment American history cast your vote. “
One more seat would be enough for the Republicans of the elected President Donald Trump to narrowly maintain a majority in the Senate. The Democrats must capture both seats to gain de facto control. Then there would be a stalemate in the chamber, which the future US Vice President Kamala Harris – who will also be President of the Senate – could resolve with her vote.
Helpers count ballot papers: There is no winner in the election of two Senate seats in Georgia. (Source: Reuters)
The last big showdown
Among other things, the Senate confirms presidential candidates for high government posts or the Supreme Court and can block bills. The future President Biden could achieve his goals much more easily if the Democrats had a majority not only in the House of Representatives but also in the Senate. Biden is due to be sworn in on January 20th.
Two weeks before the swearing-in, the probably last big showdown in the tussle over the outcome of the presidential election is on Wednesday. At a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Senate (from 7 p.m. CET), the election result is to be finally confirmed. Numerous Republican MPs and senators are planning – driven by unsubstantiated claims of fraud by Trump – a disruptive action that will cause internal party upheavals and will likely drag out formal processes considerably.