David Perdue (R) conceded to Jon Ossoff (D) on Friday, ending Georgia’s runoffs for control of the U.S. Senate days after his campaign floated potential legal action to contest his narrow defeat, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
NBC News projects that Jon Ossoff (D) defeated Sen. David Perdue (R) in the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia.
With the victory now official, Democrats take control of the Senate.
Jon Ossoff (D) declared victory in Georgia’s Senate runoff election Wednesday morning as tallies showed him leading incumbent Sen. David Perdue (R) by just over 16,000 votes.
Ossoff’s lead is currently within the 0.5 percent margin that would trigger a statewide recount in the race.
Jonathan Swan: “He told advisers he didn’t think he needed to go back. Both candidates, Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, put in a huge behind-the-scenes effort to get him to go back. He plugged them during his Monday rally, but also ranted about the state’s Republican officials and election machinery.”
“Trump was fixated on his own grievances and on increasingly untethered scenarios for how he might overturn the election.”
“It took great effort to get him to focus on any other subject or to convince him that anything beyond his own election factored into his self-interest.”
Associated Press: “Warnock, senior pastor of the church where Martin Luther King preached through the height of the Civil Rights movement until his assassination, made history with a surge in Black turnout.”
“To be sure, a narrow win out of 4.4 million votes involves plenty of variables. But Black voters were a force in the early vote and on Election Day. Notably, it wasn’t just in metro Atlanta, but also in rural and small-town counties across South Georgia, where Black turnout has historically lagged.”
“That means it was an alliance spanning from the most affluent Black residents of Atlanta, including recent transplants to Georgia, to those Black Georgia natives who hail from the most economically depressed pockets of the state.”
Playbook: “Loeffler’s reputation has been burned. Appointed to her office to help the GOP compete in the suburbs, she failed in her first election. Yet today, she’ll take the anti-democratic step of voting against Biden’s Electoral College win, sealed with millions of lawfully cast ballots in Georgia and across the nation. Loeffler’s money helped finance a brutal campaign against Warnock that provoked Black voters, including the players on the WNBA team she owns.”
“Perdue’s troubles are a testament to the perils of embracing Trumpism. A one-time free-trading establishment Republican, he received 88,000 more votes than Ossoff on Nov. 3, forced into a runoff because he failed to break 50%. He then felt the need to tie himself to Trump even tighter, although Biden had defeated the president in Georgia. As he ran harder right, he ceded the center to Ossoff.”
“While Perdue donned regular-guy denim and Loeffler began dressing as if she drove an 18-wheeler, Democrats made sure to highlight just how rich the two senators were. They were savaged for privately trading stocks after receiving briefings on coronavirus, the threat of which they publicly downplayed.”
Axios: “Top Republicans blame Trump for sabotaging what should have been two easy wins — turning off suburban voters with his chaos and craziness, and sowing distrust of the Peach State election machinery with base voters.”
As of this post, there is still no official projection in either U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia, but the New York Times’s needle is very confident that both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will win.
It’s not official but it’s very hard to see a path for either Republican short of a major tabulation error.
That would mean the U.S. Senate will be comprised of 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaking any ties.
It’s an unbelievably dramatic end to the 2020 election cycle.
I’ll be on Julie Mason Mornings on Sirius XM 124 just after 6 a.m. ET to discuss these results — and what promises to be yet another crazy day in American politics.
If you’re watching the election needles over at the New York Times, Nate Silver points out that they started from an assumption that both Senate runoffs in Georgia were tied, rather than starting with the polling averages which showed a small Democratic lead.
Update from Nate Cohn: “My strongly held view is that the needles are greatly overstating the uncertainty at this point.“
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) faces Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) in the special election runoff, and former Sen. David Perdue (R) is up against Jon Ossoff (D) in the regular election runoff.
Polls close at 7 p.m. ET.
Leave your reactions in the comments.
Politico: “The most tightly divided state in the nation will decide on Tuesday which party controls the Senate — and in true 2020 fashion, we might not know who won on election night. All signs point to a photo finish.”
“If you think of the election as a race for Republicans to catch up to Democrats’ early-voting advantage on Election Day, think of the vote count as the opposite. The GOP incumbents will likely build a lead early in the counting process — can Democrats catch up?”
Tim Miller: “Trump’s rambling, incoherent performance was marked by what seemed to be a case of TDS—Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome—so bad that it caused even the maskless cult members who packed into the Dalton, Georgia event site to become bored by the show.”
“But Trump’s unintelligibility and TDS do not take away from the gravity of the undertaking. The rally was ostensibly in support of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue’s Senate run-off campaigns, but in reality it was an opportunity for the president to ensure that said senators—and any others who dare cross him, like Mike Lee, whom he name-checked more than once—see that their only path forward is by participating in his effort to overturn the election.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “With Election Day voting underway in the crucial Senate runoffs in Georgia, we continue to see both races as Toss-ups. But after an early-voting period where Democrats may have performed better than they did in the lead-up to the November election, Republicans may need to follow suit with an impressive day-of-election performance to defend Sens. David Perdue (R-GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) against challengers Jon Ossoff (D) and Raphael Warnock (D), respectively.”
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Politico: “It’s the worst-kept secret in Georgia that Abrams is gearing up for a rematch against Kemp in 2022… The Senate runoffs are shaping up as the first salvo in a Kemp-Abrams rematch — a test of whether Abrams’ yearslong mobilization efforts can solidify Georgia’s status as a purple or even blue state, or if Biden’s victory over President Trump was an aberration.”
New York Times: Georgia is getting more blue. The Senate runoffs will tell you how much.
Cook Political Report: “Private polling from both parties, in addition to scant public polling, puts both races as a coin toss within the margin of error. It’s impossible to know how much the president’s latest temper tantrum will impact the Election Day turnout Republicans badly need. Still, GOP sources in the state certainly don’t think it will help. Early voting topped 3 million votes — already making this the highest turnout Georgia runoff ever. Democrats are encouraged by that strong turnout, which shows the numbers outpacing even Election Day totals in key demographics, particularly among Black voters and younger voters…”
“The total early vote was 23 percent lower than the same period in the general election, and one GOP source predicts that if the day of vote sees that same drop, it’s not good for them.”
Also interesting: NBC News reports that there were also 112,838 new voters who didn’t vote on November 3, and of those, 30% are under 30 and 40% are Black.
Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) tore into Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday for recording a phone call with President Trump over the weekend, Politico reports.
Said Perdue: “I guess I was raised differently. To have a statewide elected official, regardless of party, tape without disclosing a conversation — private conversation — with the president of the United States, and then leaking it to the press is disgusting.”