Georgia runoff: Senate election results so far, why race is important, and who are Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff?

President Trump has made claims of voter fraud despite having no evidence

Raphael Warnock has claimed victory in one of the runoff votes (Getty Images)
Raphael Warnock has claimed victory in one of the runoff votes (Getty Images)

The leadership of the US senate is being decided by a double runoff election in southern state Georgia.

With counting still ongoing in both seats, the Democrats are projected to win the first of two seats up for grabs, while holding a slender lead in the race for a second seat.

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There could hardly be more at stake: the party which claims the second seat will control of the US Senate.

The vote also marks a significant shift in Georgian politics, a traditionally red state, which, with the help of grassroots organisers, has seen a surge in Democrat support. A double victory for the party would also call into question Mr Trump and a significant portion of the GOP’s tactics of questioning the 2020 election result.

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Why is the vote so important?

The results of the double runoff will play a significant part in shaping the Joe Biden presidency.

A victory in either seat for the Republicans and the president-elect’s hands could be tied for the next four years, with a GOP-led senate likely to block any progressive legislation.

Should the Democrats claim both seats, which at this stage is looking likely, then the senate would be split 50/50. This would hand the Democrats control as vice-president-elect Kamal Harris would have a casting vote in the event of any ties, should the senate vote along party lines.

What’s more, a double victory would leave the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives in the hands of the Democrats, allowing the party to reverse policies laid down by Trump in the previous four years, while pushing forward with more progressive policies.

What is a runoff election?

Georgia is one of ten states where candidates are required to clinch at least 50% of the vote in order to win.

At the November election candidates in both Georgia seats were unable to reach the threshold, with the two highest vote winners then taking part in a runoff election ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Who are the Democrat candidates?

Raphael Warnock has already been called by several media netwroks as the victor in his runoff election with President Trump ally Kelly Loeffler.

The former pastor is set to become just the 11th black senator in US history, and the first for the state of Georgia, once of the Confederacy. Celebrating his victory, Mr Warnock paid tribute to his mother: "The other day - because this is America - the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else's cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator," he said.

John Osoff, meanwhile holds a narrow lead over incumbent senator David Perdue.

With 98% of reporting complete, the Democrat holds a 15,000 vote lead.

Osoff is a 33-year-old Georgia native with a background as an investigative journalist – hes serves as the CEO of Insight TWI, a now 30-year old media production company that investigates corruption, organized crime, and war crimes for international news organisations.