Nov 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Both Georgia Senate seats are heading to a runoff

Picture collage of David Perdue, John Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Kelly Loeffler

David Perdue, Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, Kelly Loeffler. Photo: Getty Images

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) will go to a Jan. 5 runoff contest after failing to win 50% of the popular vote in the race against Democrat Jon Ossoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: No winner has been declared in either of Georgia's two Senate battles, which means we likely won’t know which party will hold the Senate majority until 2021.

The big picture: Democrats and Republicans are already organizing fundraisers for both races, sources tell Axios' Hans Nichols and Alayna Treene.

  • Republican pro-life groups are also planning to take a stand, with the Women Speak Out PAC announcing a $4 million independent expenditure campaign in support of Loeffler and Perdue.

The state of play: Perdue — who has served as senator in Georgia since 2015 — led unofficial returns against Ossoff, who is looking to pick up votes from left-leaning counties, per AP.

  • Ossoff received about 50.7% of the vote in the state's Democratic primary — just over the threshold to prevent a primary runoff, according to AP.

Worth noting: As of Wednesday, both Democrats and Republicans hold 48 Senate seats each. AP still has not projected any results for the races in North Carolina or Alaska.

  • Democrats have flipped two seats in Arizona and Colorado, but lost one in Alabama.
  • The party initially hoped to win four seats to gain majority or three if Joe Biden wins the White House.

What to watch: "[G]et ready for nine more weeks of nasty campaign rhetoric, nonstop political advertising and even more visits from political VIPs, especially if control of the U.S. Senate remains at stake," AJC writes.

Go deeper: All eyes — and $$$ — on Georgia

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