Democrat Raphael Warnock won the United States Senate special election in Georgia by beating Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, becoming the first black senator in the history of the conservative state.
Warnock, whose victory was announced by American television networks CNN, CBS, and NBC, is a pastor at the same church where Martin Luther King preached until he was murdered in 1968 in Atlanta during the African American civil rights movement.
“Tonight, we demonstrated that with hope, hard work, and people on our side, anything is possible,” Warnock told supporters in a virtual speech.
The other contending Democrat, Jon Ossoff, was also ahead of the count compared to outgoing Republican Senator David Perdue when 95% of the vote was counted, according to the Associated Press (AP) news agency.
Ossoff, aged 33, could become the youngest Democratic senator since Joe Biden, elected in that state in 1973.
If the election of the two Democrats was confirmed, Joe Biden’s party would reinforce the victory, being able to gain control of that chamber, in what would be a new setback for incumbent President Donald Trump, who still does not admit defeat in the elections of November 3rd.
With a double victory in Georgia, Democrats would win 50 seats in the Senate, as would Republicans.
But, as envisaged in the Constitution, future Vice President Kamala Harris would have the power to “tie the tie”, tipping the balance for the Democrats.
Galvanized by Joe Biden’s victory in that conservative southern state, the first since 1992, Democrats have managed to mobilize voters, particularly African Americans, the key to any Democratic victory.
More than three million voters were able to vote in advance, representing about 40% of those registered in Georgia, a record number in Senate elections in Georgia.
For the analyst at the independent website “Cook Political Report” Dave Wasserman, this election night recalled the mid-term elections.
“That’s what we saw in 2018: many Trump voters just don’t mobilize when Trump is not on the ballot,” he wrote on Twitter.
Also Biden’s former campaign director, Rufus Gifford, wrote on Twitter: “I never thought we were going to win these elections in Georgia”. “Thank you very much, Donald Trump,” he quipped.