Outcomes Uncertain in Key US Senate Runoff Elections in Georgia

Source VOA

Two pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections in the Southern state of Georgia were too close to call Tuesday night.

The outcomes of the closely watched contests will determine political control in the Senate during the first two years of President-elect Joe Biden’s term in the White House.

But with roughly 98% of the vote counted in the two contests, no one was claiming victory or conceding defeat, although the votes left to be counted appeared to be in regions of the state with a heavy Democratic voter turnout.

In one contest, Republican Sen. David Perdue, seeking a second six-year term in office, held a slim edge over Democrat Jon Ossoff, a television documentary producer. In the other election, a Democrat, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Baptist minister, pulled ahead of Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, one of the wealthiest lawmakers in Congress.

The vote counts were fluctuating throughout the evening, with the Democrats faring well when the votes were counted in the state’s major cities and the Republicans making substantial gains in smaller communities and rural areas.

Currently, Republicans control the 100-seat Senate with a 50-48 advantage, needing to win one of the two Georgia contests to maintain their advantage and act as a bulwark against Biden’s legislative proposals after he is inaugurated January 20.