Election update: Democrats regain control of the Senate in Georgia runoff election

Allison Cohen, Chief Copy Editor

In the midst of the chaos at the Capitol Building today, Democrats regained control of the Senate by winning both seats in Georgia’s runoff elections. 

Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler last night in a historic win. Warnock, age 51, is the first Black senator to be elected in the state of Georgia and will become the first Black Democrat to serve in the Senate in the South. 

Democrat Jon Ossoff, 33, also won a Senate seat, defeating single-term incumbent Republican David Perdue. The election was called this afternoon. 

Both victories narrowly avoided the requisite margin for a recount.

In Georgia, a candidate may legally request a recount if the margin is less than or equal to 0.5 percent. Ossoff won with a .80 percentage point lead and Warnock with 1.70 point lead. 

Ossoff and Warnock’s victory ensures a Democrat-controlled Senate with fifty seats to each party, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote. This victory also means that Democrat Chuck Schumer will hold the title of Senate majority leader, while Republican Mitch McConnell becomes the minority leader. 

One of the consequences of this win is the ability of Democrats to bring bills to the Senate floor. Additionally, they can more easily confirm President-elect Biden’s Cabinet appointments and judicial nominees.

However, most major bills in the Senate still require bipartisan support in order to bypass the 60 vote threshold required to pass them.