[NFA] Democrats won one U.S. Senate race in Georgia and led in another on Wednesday, moving closer to a surprise sweep in a former Republican stronghold that would give them control of Congress and greater power to advance President-elect Joe Biden's agenda.
Raphael Warnock in one of Georgia's two runoff elections and a lead in the second race... Democrats on Wednesday moved closer to capturing control of the U.S. Senate and with it, the power to advance President-elect Joe Biden's agenda.
Raphael Warnock, a Baptist preacher from the church of Martin Luther King Jr., beat Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler to become the first Black senator in the deep South state's history.
He spoke to CBS This Morning about the historic win.
"They sent a strong and clear message when they sent a person who grew up in public housing, one of 12 children in my family.
That I am serving in the United States Senate in a few days, pushes against the grain of so many expectations." The other Democrat, Jon Ossoff, on Wednesday held a narrower lead over incumbent David Perdue.
The documentary filmmaker, who at 33 would become the Senate's youngest member, declared victory in a race still too close to call for media.
"It is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate." Following Trump's lead who has never conceded his own loss, both Republican senators predicted they would ultimately win and insisted they would continue to fight.
If Democrats take both seats, it would amount to a final defeat for outgoing President Donald Trump, who stands to be the first U.S. president since 1932 to lose the White House and both chambers of Congress in a single term.
While the president held rallies in Georgia, the final days of the campaign were overshadowed by his attempts to pressure Republican Georgia officials to “find” enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory in the state, arguing without evidence that fraud cost him the election.
Asked who's to blame for Republican performance in Georgia, state election official Gabriel Sterling, a Republican, laid the blame on Trump.
"If you look over the last two months, the President of the United States spent more time attacking Governor Kemp and Secretary Raffensperger than he did Rafael Warnock and Ossoff." Winning both contests in Georgia would give Democrats control of the Senate, creating a 50-50 split and giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote.
That would mean Democrats would control both chambers of Congress plus the White House.
The election signaled a shift in the politics of Georgia and possibly the wider deep South.
At least 4.5 million voters participated, smashing earlier turnout figures for runoff races.
It comes as Democrats, most notably former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, have worked hard for years, running voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote campaigns to increase turnout among Black voters, their most reliable supporters in the region.