Democrats Take the Senate as Jon Ossoff Officially Wins in Georgia

Georgia Democratic candidates for US Senate Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff at a campaign rally on November 15, 2020, in Marietta, Georgia.Brynn Anderson/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

On a surreal day marked by violence and chaos spurred by Trump-supporting insurrectionists on Capitol Hill, Democrat Jon Ossoff officially won a tight runoff election against incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue in Georgia, according to ABC and NBC. His victory, along with that of the Reverend Raphael Warnock, who officially defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the early hours of the morning, ensures Democrats will control the US Senate and makes way for the Biden administration to pursue its ambitious legislative agenda.

Warnock and Ossoff have been elected to represent Georgia in the Senate after a pair of agonizingly close campaigns. Both races went to a runoff when the candidates failed to surpass the 50 percent threshold in the November general election. The Democrats’ historic double victory will officially split the party breakdown of the Senate, with Vice President–elect Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaking vote. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who for years has stymied the Democratic-controlled House’s efforts to pass progressive legislation, will assume a new title: Senate minority leader. Sen. Chuck Schumer will now take the gavel.

Ossoff claimed victory earlier Wednesday morning, when he was leading Perdue by about 16,000 votes. At 33 years old, Ossoff is the youngest Democrat elected to the Senate since President-elect Joe Biden took office at age 28 in 1973. He will also be Georgia’s first Jewish senator.

But, in a state where nearly a third of the population is Black, Warnock’s victory is particularly poignant. As Becca Andrews reported yesterday, Warnock will be Georgia’s first Black senator, and the second Black senator to represent the South since Reconstruction.

The Democratic victory, though, was largely overshadowed by the chaotic events at the Capitol, which had at least temporarily halted the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. As our colleagues write: 

Insurrectionists aiming to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election sent Washington, DC, into chaos on Wednesday, storming past police barricades into the Capitol building and shutting down a congressional session intended to formally certify Joe Biden’s victory. Inside the House of Representatives chamber, a protester screamed, “Trump won that election!” from the dais. 

Follow along with that developing story here.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate