Georgia can seriously influence a high-stakes election_graphic

The 2020 general election was held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. In the near future, the country will decide the 46th President of the U.S., two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia, and a host of state and local races. 

Six days after election night, Georgians still don’t know which presidential candidate won the state. The winners of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats also remain unknown.

After days of counting ballots, The Associated Press reported that both U.S. Senate seats will be decided by runoff elections on Jan. 5. These seats will also decide the party majority in the Senate.

Results: Special Election 

Georgia’s 21-candidate special election for Kelly Loeffler’s seat in the U.S. Senate came to a close on Tuesday night. 

Loeffler and Democratic challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock will head to the runoff on Jan 5. Neither candidate was able to secure more than 50% of the vote, which the winning candidate would have needed to avoid the runoff and declare victory outright.

Loeffler received 25.92% of the state’s votes, while Warnock received 32.90%, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State. Loeffler’s Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, received 19.96%, after being statistically tied with Loeffler in the days preceding the election. 

Collins, who conceded to and endorsed Loeffler on election night, has been appointed by President Donald Trump to lead his election recount team in Georgia. 

Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to the Senate in December 2019 to fill the remainder of Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term after he announced his retirement due to health concerns. Collins lobbied to fill the seat after Isakson’s retirement, and President Donald Trump urged Kemp to choose Collins. In the end, Kemp chose Loeffler, a businesswoman with no prior experience in politics.

Now, Loeffler will face Warnock in her first one-on-one election to preserve her seat in the Senate, and Warnock will face his first ever one-on-one election to take it. Neither candidate has ever been elected to office.

“Tonight, I stand here grateful for your support. Honored by your trust. Energized by the growing movement for change all across this state,” Warnock said in a campaign press release on election night. “Something special and transformational is happening in Georgia.”

Loeffler’s campaign did not respond to The Red & Black’s requests for comment as of press time.

Warnock’s campaign has focused on expanding affordable health care access, protecting voting rights and expanding voter options and rebuilding the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Loeffler’s campaign has focused on promoting policies to expand the economy, create jobs and protect the Second Amendment.

Results: Perdue vs. Ossoff 

Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff will also go to a runoff to determine the other U.S. Senate seat. 

Ossoff won 47.93% of the vote while Perdue won 49.75% of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State. Neither Ossoff nor Perdue achieved the necessary 50% of votes in the state.  

In Athens-Clarke County, voters cast 67.81% of their ballots for Ossoff and 29.59% of their ballots for Perdue.

“We have all the momentum. We have all the energy. We’re on the right side of history… We’re just getting started,” Ossoff said in a press conference on Friday.

Perdue did not respond to The Red & Black’s requests for comment as of press time.

Perdue replaced Republican Saxby Chambliss, who retired in 2014. Perdue had never held office before being elected in 2014 — running against Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn, Perdue won outright with 53% of the vote. 

Perdue supports cutting Georgia taxes and school choice and opposes defunding the police, according to his website.

Before running for U.S. Senate, Ossoff worked as a national security aide for Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson and then as an investigative journalist. In 2017, Ossoff lost to then-Republican Rep. Karen Handel for the U.S. House Georgia District 6 in a special election runoff by about three percentage points

Ossoff supports lowering taxes for all but the wealthiest Americans, debt-free public college and a “rapidly phased-in ban” on single-use plastics, according to his website.