Democrats are celebrating full control of the federal government as both their candidates were expected to win Tuesday’s George Senate runoffs.
The results: Raphael Warnock Jon Ossoff followed Joe Biden in apparently eking out wins in Georgia, marking the first time the state voted Democratic up and down the ballot since 1978.
- Warnock declared victory after his race was called on Tuesday night, while Ossoff did so on Wednesday morning.
- Major press outlets deemed Ossoff’s race too close to call but observers in both parties said he would almost certainly prevail.
If the election results stand, the Democrats will this month take control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, a trifecta they last held in 2008.
The celebration: Following Ossoff’s victory speech, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement referring to himself as “Majority Leader.”
- He promised to work with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden to “deliver the bold change and help Americans need and demand” and later told reporters $2,000 coronavirus relief checks would be among his first priorities.
- Pelosi and Biden also congratulated the Georgia Democrats, the president-elect stopped short of saying Ossoff won.
Starting Tuesday night, liberal commentators began looking forward to a Biden administration being unleashed to pursue what The New York Times’ David Leonhardt described as its “boldly progressive agenda.
- According to Axios, House Democrats plan to reintroduce nine bills they couldn’t advance in the Trump era, including legislation to expand Obamacare, enhance background checks on firearms and outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The blame game: Republicans, meanwhile, anticipated a dark future of radical left-wing governance.
The GOP’s establishment and populist wings traded blame for their collective failure to hold the line against the Democrats.
- They argued the president’s outsized ego prevented the GOP from making the Georgia runoffs about blocking Democratic hegemony and dissuaded both his base and his skeptics in the party from turning out.
Times columnist Ross Douthat joined the ranks of Trump-skeptical conservatives openly hoping that electoral losses would force a reckoning within the GOP — and the end of the Trump era.
However, some of Trump’s supporters argued it was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to block the Trump-backed $2,000 Covid stimulus checks doomed the Georgia candidates.
The president, on Twitter and at an afternoon rally outside the White House, repeated his claims of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere along with his suggestions that Republican officials were somehow complicit.
Nearby, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol, halting Congress’s counting of the electoral votes to confirm Biden’s victory as the police evacuated lawmakers from the building.