Democrats take control of the Senate

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 6:12 PM ET, Wed January 6, 2021
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8:38 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Here's where the vote count stands in Georgia

The Rev. Raphael Warnock is projected to win against GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler in one of two critical Senate runoff races in Georgia.

Fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff is currently leading Sen. David Perdue in the other race. If Ossoff wins, Democrats will claim control of the Senate with a 50/50 divide, plus a tie-breaking vote from Kamala Harris once she is sworn in as vice president.

Here's where the vote count currently stands:

Key counties will resume counting votes this morning. They include:

  • Fulton County A Fulton County spokesperson, Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez, said the roughly 4,000 remaining absentee ballots in the county will not be uploaded until later in the day Wednesday. It’s unclear how many other types of votes and how many are yet to be counted. 
  • Dekalb County Officials will re-start counting at 10 a.m. ET and will start uploading data after 4 p.m. ET. The county did not provide an exact number of votes left to count. But the votes left to count are provisional outstanding absentee ballots.  
  • Gwinnett County Gwinnett County says there are about 4,800 absentee ballots received on Tuesday left to count.
  • Cobb County An unknown number of absentee ballots were received Tuesday. They will resume counting this morning. 
  • Chatham County The County's Elections Director told CNN they will start counting about 3,000 absentee ballots Wednesday morning. 

In addition, the state says up to 17,000 overseas and military votes could be received by the Friday 5 p.ET m. deadline. But the expectation of the votes that will be returned by Friday will only be a fraction of that number. 

This list just represents a snapshot of counties across the state and is not exhaustive. You can see a full breakdown of each county's vote here.

8:36 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Ossoff: "Georgia, thank you so much for the confidence that you have placed in me"

From CNN's Aditi Sangal

Jon Ossoff/Youtube
Jon Ossoff/Youtube

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff, whose race against incumbent Republican senator David Purdue is too close to call, spoke this morning and thanked his supporters.

"Georgia, thank you so much for the confidence that you have placed in me. I am honored, honored, by your support, by your confidence, by your trust," he said in a live-streamed speech.

Projecting confidence at his chances of winning the race, he said:

"Whether you were for me or against me, I will be for you in the US Senate. I will serve all the people of the state, I will give everything I've got to ensuring that Georgia's interests are represented in the US Senate."

Remember: CNN has not yet projected a winner in this race. You can see the latest on where the vote stands here.

He reiterated his campaign's promise to focus on combatting the coronavirus pandemic and delivering economic relief to people who have been impacted.

"I will work in the US Senate to support a robust public health response so that we can defeat this virus ... and to rush direct economic relief to people who need help right now," he said. "This campaign has been about health and jobs and justice for the people of this state, for all the people of this state, and they will be my guiding principles as I serve this state in the US Senate, ensuring that every Georgian has great health care no matter our wealth."

8:13 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Warnock says GOP lawmakers' plans to challenge election results are a "distraction"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt


The Rev. Raphael Warnock, who CNN projects will win his Senate race, called the plans of Republican lawmakers to vote against counting electoral votes a “distraction.”

“These senators know better,” he said. 

He said his opponent, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who is expected to object to the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win today, “has consistently put what she perceives to be her own short-term political interests over the concerns of ordinary people.”

“And the people of Georgia rose up and they rebuked that last night,” he added.

8:07 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Warnock says he is "deeply honored" that he is Georgia's choice

From CNN's Aditi Sangal


After the Rev. Raphael Warnock was projected to win his Senate race in Georgia, he said he is "deeply honored" for being the voters' choice.

"What Georgia did last night is its own message in the midst of a moment in which so many people are trying to divide our country," he said on CNN Wednesday. "I'm deeply honored that the people of Georgia have placed their trust in someone who grew up in public housing, one of 12 children — I'm number 11 — the first college graduate in my family. And I hope to bring the concerns of ordinary people to the United States Senate."

He added:

"It is a sacred trust, and it's one that I take very seriously. And I hope to honor that promise in the work that we will do in the days ahead."

Warnock, who is the the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, says he will return to his pulpit on Sunday to preach and talk to the people.

"One of the things that I've learned from being a pastor is that it's really the people who teach you how to be a good pastor, an effective pastor. And I think it's the people who teach you how to be an effective senator," he told CNN. "So the last thing I want to do is become disconnected from the community and just spend all of my time talking to the politicians ... I have no intentions of become a politician, I intend to be a public servant."

8:02 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is about to speak

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is set to deliver remarks soon on the results in the runoff election, his campaign announced.

Ossoff is currently leading over his Republican rival Sen. David Perdue by some 16,000 votes.

Here's where the vote tally currently stands:

8:03 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Here's what Warnock says will be his first priority in Washington

Democrat Raphael Warnock, who is projected to win one of Georgie's Senate seats, said his first priority in Washington will be addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've got to respond in an intelligent and thoughtful way to this pandemic. We've got to get the vaccine safely and efficiently distributed and we need to get people the relief that they need," he said on CNN this morning.

Warnock added that he wants to work to pass further stimulus legislation.

"We ought to pass a $2,000 stimulus relief and give ordinary struggling people who are literally just trying to keep their head above water what they need, so that we can begin to get the economy going again," he said.

7:57 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

It's the morning after Georgia's election day. Here's where things stand.

Voters stand in line to cast their ballots in Atlanta on Tuesday, January 5.
Voters stand in line to cast their ballots in Atlanta on Tuesday, January 5. Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Georgia voters went to the polls yesterday to vote in two runoff elections for the state's US senators.

Here's where things stand this morning:

  • Democrats won one seat: The Rev. Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be the first Black senator from Georgia, CNN projected early Wednesday, a repudiation of Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her adherence to President Trump.
  • Another race is still too close to call: The control of the US Senate now comes down to Republican David Perdue, who is running to keep his seat against Democrat Jon Ossoff.
  • How we got here: After no Georgia Senate candidate received 50% of the vote in November, the races turned to two runoffs. While Ossoff and Warnock ran on a unity ticket, Trump refused to concede his own loss, sparking a fight within the Republican Party and disenchanting some of his supporters, who believed his false claims that the vote was rigged.
2:37 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

Perdue campaign calls for "time and transparency" as Senate race results trickle in

From CNN's Caroline Kenny

Republican candidate David Perdue’s campaign called for “time and transparency to be certain the results are fair and accurate and the voices of Georgians are heard" in a statement early Wednesday.

“We will mobilize every available resource and exhaust every legal recourse to ensure all legally cast ballots are properly counted. We believe in the end, Senator Perdue will be victorious,” the statement reads.

The control of the US Senate now comes down to Perdue, who is running to keep his seat against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

2:18 a.m. ET, January 6, 2021

CNN Projection: Democrat Warnock defeats GOP Sen. Loeffler

From CNN's Marshall Cohen and Alex Rogers

Senate candidate Raphael Warnock of Georgia speaks to supporters during a rally on November 15 in Marietta, Georgia.
Senate candidate Raphael Warnock of Georgia speaks to supporters during a rally on November 15 in Marietta, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock will defeat GOP candidate Kelly Loeffler, CNN projects.

Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will make history as the first Black US senator from Georgia.

In an address earlier Wednesday, Warnock spoke to his supporters and thanked them.

"To everyone out there struggling today, whether you voted for me or not, know this," Warnock said. "I hear you, I see you and every day I'm in the United States Senate I will fight for you."

Warnock is the first Georgia Democrat elected to the Senate in 20 years, and his election is the culmination of years of voter registration drives conducted by former state House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams and other activists.

President-elect Joe Biden also won Georgia, the first time for a Democratic presidential candidate since the 1990s.

Some context: The party that wins the race between GOP candidate David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff will take control of the Senate.

CNN's Chris Cuomo and John Berman have more: