ORLANDO, Fla. — The state of Georgia is holding runoff elections Tuesday that will determine which party holds control of the United States Senate when Joe Biden takes over the presidency.
Here are nine things to know about these highly consequential races:
- Two Races - Because of the way Georgia conducts its elections there is not one but two races that will be decided on Tuesday January 5th; one is for a full six year term in the US Senate, the other is to complete a term that is set to expire in 2023.
- Full Term - The general election runoff for a full 6-year term is between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue is the incumbent, however, because his race is in a run-off he is not a sitting member of the US Senate since his last term officially expired on Sunday.
- Partial Term – In 2019, Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson resigned his seat due to health concerns. The vacant seat was filled by Georgia’s Governor, who appointed Kelly Loeffler. Sen. Loeffler is still a member of the US Senate, since she is completing an existing term. She is facing Reverend Raphael Warnock on Tuesday. The winner of the Loeffler v. Warnock race will have to run again in 2022 for a full 6-year term that will begin in January 2023.
- Control of the Senate – If Republicans win both races, they’ll have a 52-48 advantage in the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, if Democrats win both seats, they’ll be split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking vote.
- Close Race – In November’s general election, David Perdue beat Jon Ossoff 49.7% to 47.9%, however, since Perdue did not break 50%, the race, under Georgia state law, went to a run-off.
- Congested Race – In the very crowded special election to fill the Isakson seat, Raphael Warnock received 32.9% of the vote, while Kelly Loeffler received 25.9%. It is of note that former Republican Rep Doug Collins received 20% of the vote as well, but did not advance to the run-off.
- Big Money - According to ad-tracking group “AdImpact” there has been almost half a billion dollars spent on these two races.
- Battleground State - Joe Biden carried Georgia by less than 12,000 votes. Before 2020, the last time a Democrat carried Georgia was Bill Clinton in 1992. However, the state has been growing and shifting politically with Tuesday’s run-offs expected to indicate just how the state has, or has not, moved.
- The President - Since November, President Trump has been highly critical of Georgia’s Republican Governor and Republican Secretary of State. It is unclear if the President’s comments about the integrity of Georgia’s elections, as well as his unfounded claims of fraud, will have any impact on Republican turnout in these two races.
Channel 9 is dedicated to bringing you up-to-the minute results in the crucial Georgia Senate runoff races. We’re teaming up with our sister station WSB in Atlanta.
Click here to download the free WFTV Now app on Roku, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick to watch live coverage, beginning at 8 p.m.
Click here to watch in-depth analysis of this historic election on Eyewitness News at 10 and WFTV Tonight.
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