Control of the Senate come January could entirely depend on Georgia as one of its Republican senators wasn’t able to earn the 50 per cent needed for an outright win and the other race there has turned into a nail biter.
As of Thursday afternoon, Republican Sen. David Perdue fell under the 50 per cent threshold needed to avoid a runoff election.
The incumbent is now just around 140 votes shy of avoiding a runoff as he holds 49.9997 per cent of the vote with 98 per cent of precincts reporting.
While two per cent of the vote still needs to be counted in the Peach State, they are largely coming in from Democratic areas, meaning it’s likely his lead could drop even further below the 50 per cent line.
Fellow Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loefller’s runoff against Democrat Raphael Warnock will be held in January after they earned 26.1 per cent and 32.7 per cent respectively.
The Senate election count stands at a tie 48-48, as the two independent members, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, caucus with Democrats.
If Republicans were to hold onto control of the Senate and Democratic nominee Joe Biden were to emerge as the victor in the presidential race, he would essentially find himself in a gridlock unable to do much he has promised he would if he won the White House.
Hurdles Biden would have to face if he were at odds with the Senate during his presidency would include an inability to stack the Supreme Court, like Democrats have threatened to do after Republicans were able to force through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination just days before Election Day.
He would also have problems getting through key legislation as well as cabinet appointments.
The makeup of the Senate come January could entirely depend on the two races in Georgia, where Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler (left) is already headed for a runoff election in January. Fellow Republican Sen. Dvid Perdue (right) fell below Thursday afternoon the 50 per cent margin needed to avoid a runoff
The Senate race is a nail biter as it currently stands in a dead heat 48-48 – taking into account that both independent senators caucus with Democrats
Loeffler will face Democratic candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock in January
Perdue is facing off against Democratic candidate John Ossoff in a race that has not yet been called
The latest Senate race called was on Wednesday night for Senator Gary Peters.
The victorious reelection bid brought the race even closer as it remains up in the air which party will control the Senate in either Trump’s second term or Biden’s first.
The Democrat incumbent was able to hold on to his seat narrowly against Republican challenger John James in one of the most competitive and closely watched Senate elections in the nation, earning 49.9 per cent of the vote to James' 48.2 per cent – a margin of 1.7 per cent.
Polls got it wrong again with the Michigan Senate race, indicating ahead of Election Day that Peters would solidly take the win with at least 5-7 per cent of the vote.
This outcome means the makeup of the Senate will mostly rely on elections held in January in Georgia, a state that requires candidates to earn 50 per cent of the vote to outright win or else force a runoff election.
Loeffler still wouldn’t have won the needed threshold even if she secured the 20.1 per cent of voters who were siphoned off by Georgia’s Republican Representative for its 9th District, Doug Collins, who launched a Senate bid.
The Georgia senator was never actually elected to her seat. Instead, in December 2019, she was selected by Georgia Governor Biran Kempy to succeed Senator Johnny Isakson, who resigned for health reasons.