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Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated former Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) in Georgia's runoff race for the U.S. Senate, AP projected Wednesday.

Why it matters: The projected victory came hours after Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler and officially secures Democratic control of the Senate. The 50-50 split means that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the tie-breaking vote after Jan. 20.

Background: Ossoff drew national attention in 2017 when he nearly flipped a Georgia congressional seat against former Rep. Karen Handel (R). At 33, he is now the youngest Senator.

  • The House race drew in record fundraising and was seen as one of the first indicators of Democratic enthusiasm following President Trump's 2016 victory.

The AP call came as a mob stormed the Capitol building, halting the certification of Joe Biden's win and putting the Capitol complex into lockdown.

Between the lines: Democrats in the state may have benefited from Trump's attacks on Georgia Republicans in recent weeks.

  • Trump, who lost Georgia by over 11,000 votes, falsely claimed the state's elections were rigged and has pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to overturn the results.
  • Perdue's ability to campaign was also limited during the final days of the election. He and his wife are in quarantine due to coronavirus exposure.

Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said sending $2,000 stimulus checks would be the first order of business in the new Congress once Ossoff and Warnock are sworn in.

President-elect Biden rallied for Democrats in Atlanta on Monday, focusing on the potential for more economic stimulus if Democrats take the Senate.

  • "$2,000 checks will go out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor for so many people who are struggling right now," Biden said.
Data: AP; Chart: Naema Ahmed, Danielle Alberti, Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Correction: A previous version of this story said Ossoff will be the youngest senator in U.S. history. He will be the current youngest senator.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

Schumer rattles reconciliation saber

More than an aisle separates Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, seen in the Senate Chamber after the Capitol siege. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Chuck Schumer is expected to telegraph, as soon as tonight, that he will use his political muscle to pass some of his party’s priorities — like President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Why it matters: While the Senate majority leader wants to work with Republicans on key legislation, advisers say, he will make clear that using the simple majority vote inherent in the budget reconciliation process is one of the big sticks at his disposal.

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden on Trump's impeachment trial: "I think it has to happen"

President Biden told CNN Monday that he believes the impeachment trial of former President Trump "has to happen," but he does not think 17 Republicans will join Democrats to vote to convict.

Why it matters: Biden's comments are most concrete he has made about his views on Trump's second impeachment.