A Second Senate Race in Georgia Heads to a January Runoff
As of Saturday morning, Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue continues to hold a steady lead over his Democrat opponent, Jon Ossoff. Perdue has received 2,453, 679 votes and Ossoff, 2,357,910. They stand apart by 95,769 votes, or 1.9 percent.
Unlike President Trump, Perdue has not seen his election night margin disintegrate. However, as counting in the state continued, his share of the vote fell from over 52 percent to 49.8.
According to Georgia state law, if a candidate’s lead is below 50 percent, a special election is triggered. Unless it returns to 50 percent, Perdue is required to face his rival in a runoff election on January 5.
He won’t be alone. The state’s other senator, Kelly Loeffler, also a Republican, will also participate in a January runoff.
When former Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) resigned from the Senate for health reasons last year, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to replace him. State law required a special election to be held this November. Because none of the 20 candidates vying for the seat received more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two highest finishers must face each other in January.
Democrat Raphael Warnock received 32 percent of the vote and Loeffler, 26.4. The next highest finisher was Republican Rep. Doug Collins, with a 20.4 percent share of the vote. Collins conceded the race on Tuesday night and threw his support behind Loeffler. There were seventeen others in the race whose support will likely go to one of these two candidates. Such a scenario favors Loeffler by one point, but the outcome is impossible to predict. The results of this race can be viewed here.
The balance of power in the Republican controlled Senate prior to the election was 53-47. Two Republicans, Sens. Cory Gardner (CO) and Martha McSally (AZ), lost their seats and a newcomer, Tommy Tuberville unseated Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama. Post-Election Day, the balance stands at 52-48.
Perdue and Loeffler are both sitting senators and each is likely to prevail in their January 5 runoff elections.
If one loses and one wins, the balance will be 51-49.
If they both lose and the balance becomes 50-50, the Republicans would retain their majority if President Trump were to remain in the White House. Vice President Mike Pence would be available to break the tie in any senate vote.
In the event both lose and former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidency, however, the Democrats would control the Senate. Vice President Kamala Harris would become the deciding vote.
If this were to occur, there would be nothing to stop the Democrats from enacting their radical agenda. They would hold the House, the Senate and the Presidency.
How likely is this to happen?
In my opinion, not very.
Perdue defeated Ossoff this week and he is expected to do so again.
There were twenty candidates competing for Loeffler’s seat. The total share of the vote won by the Republicans in the race was 49.3 percent.
Democrats accounted for 48.4 percent and a combination of Independents, one Libertarian and one Green Party candidate received 2.3 percent.
Loeffler will go in with a slight advantage over Warnock. Plus, she is the incumbent which provides a little edge. Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who appointed her, would support her. Republicans, knowing the importance of this race will pull out all the stops to bring her over the finish line.
Additionally, Loeffler is an extremely wealthy woman who won’t be afraid to use her own money to vanquish her enemy.
So, as I mentioned earlier, as long as at least one wins, the Republicans will retain power in the Senate.
And it doesn’t hurt that even The Washington Post thinks Loeffler will be the victor in January. According to the Post, “Democratic candidates have traditionally not performed well in Senate runoffs in Georgia, when it’s more difficult to get out the vote without a presidential race at the top of the ticket.”