GA Runoff

March 31, 2021
GA Runoff


In 2021, the spotlight remains on two 2020 Senate races.

What to know about the high-stakes Georgia runoff elections

About The U.S. Senate

  • The Senate has 100 lawmakers: two from each state.
  • Senators are elected to 6-year terms.
  • The U.S. Vice President is the president of the Senate and serves as the tiebreaker when there’s a 50-50 vote.
  • The Senate & House of Representatives share legislative (lawmaking) power.
  • Senate’s “Sole Powers”: impeachment trials or confirming Presidential appointees (e.g. federal judges).

Runoff Elections 101

  • In most states, the candidate with the majority of votes is declared the winner.
  • In the 10 states where runoff elections are mandated, runoffs are triggered when no candidate receives a certain percentage of the vote. Percentage thresholds vary by state.
  • In GA, a candidate must receive over 50% of the vote to win. If not, the two candidates with the most votes *automatically* face-off in a runoff.

Sen. David Perdue (R) vs. Jon Ossoff (D)

  • Perdue finished first, receiving 49.7% of the vote compared to Ossoff’s 47.9% — a difference of approx. 88,100 votes.
  • Before getting elected in 2014, Sen. Perdue served as the CEO of Reebok and Dollar General.
  • Ossoff (33) worked as a congressional aide before launching a career as a journalist/media executive. If he wins, he’d be the youngest sitting senator.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) vs. Rev. Raphael Warnock (D)

  • Warnock finished first, receiving 33% of the vote compared to Loeffler’s 26% — a difference of approx. 343,800 votes.
  • 20 candidates faced-off in the race. The third runner-up was a Republican who received nearly 20% of the vote.
  • Loeffler was appointed in 2019 to temporarily fill a vacated Senate seat; the winner will serve out the final two years of that retired senator’s term.

Why These Races Matter

  • The outcomes will determine which party controls the Senate. Republicans currently control the Senate 50 to 48.
  • Democrats need both Ossoff *and* Warnock to win to get to a 50-50 split.
  • REMEMBER: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will serve as the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.
  • FYI: No GA Democrat has won a U.S. Senate race since 2000.

While past precedent favors Republicans winning GA runoff elections, Pres-elect Biden became the first Democrat since 1992 to win the state as a presidential candidate (by approx. 12,000 votes). Voter participation in GA's runoff races is historic, with early voting surpassing past records; results expected in several days.

A good read about the separation of power between House and Senate

Here’s are Georgia’s election results

Early voting records in Georgia for this January 2021 runoff: READ MORE

by Jenna Lee,