Democrats have a majority in the House and are projected to control the Senate.
January 6, 2021, 11:33 PM
• 8 min read
Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff is projected by ABC News to defeat former Republican Sen. David Perdue, handing the party control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in a decade at a disturbing moment in American history.
The projection in the race came as the nation’s Capitol, where Ossoff is expected to join Georgia’s Rev. Raphael Warnock in the Senate, was under siege by supporters of President Donald Trump. The chaotic and violent events began to unfold as Congress was in the middle of counting the electoral votes for the presidential race, despite Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome. That process was halted by protesters breaching the Capitol.
With projected victories in the twin races of Warnock and Ossoff, President-elect Joe Biden will have the narrowest majority in the Senate, with both parties holding 50-50 seats apiece, allowing the tie-breaking vote to be cast by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
“I want to thank the people of Georgia for participating in this election, everybody who cast your ballot, everybody who put your faith and confidence in our democracy’s capacity to deliver the representation that we deserve, whether you were for me, or against me, I’ll be for you in the U.S. Senate,” Ossoff said in videoed remarks Wednesday morning in which he declared victory before a there was a projection.
Ossoff was locked in a slightly tighter race than his Democratic counterpart and now leads Perdue by about 34,000 votes, compared with Warnock’s nearly 70,000-vote lead over Loeffler. But the margin Ossoff is leading by is currently 0.7% of total votes cast, which is just outside the 0.5% margin that’s required for his Republican opponent to request a machine recount of the votes.
In the other Senate race, ABC News projected Warnock’s victory in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. He edged out Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat in late 2019 by Gov. Brian Kemp following longtime Sen. Johnny Isakson’s retirement.
Ossoff and Warnock represent two historic victories for Georgia Democrats. Warnock, the senior pastor at Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s former pulpit, Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, will be the first Black senator to represent Georgia, while Ossoff, a 33-year-old Jewish media executive and investigative journalist, will be the youngest Democrat elected to the Senate since Biden was elected in 1972. Neither has ever won elected office, and Ossoff first rose to national prominence as a candidate in the 2017 special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. He narrowly lost the race, and the campaign is the most expensive House campaign ever.
“Georgia is in such an incredible place when you think about the arc of our history, we are sending an African American pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church where Martin Luther King Jr.