Raphael Warnock has won the U.S. Senate runoff race in Georgia against Republican Kelly Loeffler, according to a leading pollster.
Dave Wasserman took to Twitter at just after 9:30 p.m. EST to call the race in Warnock's favor. Wasserman serves as editor for The Cook Political Report, analyzing congressional contests. He is considered one of the top election forecasters in the nation.
"I've seen enough. Raphael Warnock (D) defeats Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in GA's special Senate runoff," he tweeted.
At the time that he called the race, Loeffler maintained a slight lead in voting, but there was still a large number of outstanding votes from the Atlanta metro area, which were expected to go heavily for the Democratic candidates.
As The Inquisitr reported, Warnock faced an aggressive campaign from Loeffler, who frequently slammed him as a "radical liberal." Her attacks came under fire from many on the left, especially after she used the line repeatedly at a televised debate between the candidates.Loeffler also came under scrutiny after reports indicated that she allegedly sold millions of dollars in stock and invested in a company that produces medical equipment to fight the coronavirus pandemic, making the moves shortly after U.S. Senators were given a closed-door briefing in January about the potential for the virus.
"The largest transactions — and the most politically problematic — involve $18.7 million in sales of Intercontinental Exchange stock in three separate deals dated Feb. 26 and March 11," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution pointed out. "Loeffler is a former executive with ICE, and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, is the CEO of the company, which owns the New York Stock Exchange among other financial marketplaces."
Both races are critical for the future of the Senate. If the Democratic candidates win both races, it would bring the caucuses into a 50-50 tie, allowing incoming Vice President Kamala Harris to cast tie-breaking votes.
The races drew national attention, especially after President Donald Trump demanded that direct stimulus checks to Americans be increased to $2,000 from $600. Top Democrats immediately backed his demand, passing a measure in the House that would increase the amounts. But it was blocked by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had reportedly pushed back against including direct payments in the newest coronavirus stimulus.
Many on the left focused on the Georgia contests, seeking to win both seats and unseat McConnell from his position.
Wasserman had not yet made a prediction on the state's other contest, where Democrat Jon Ossoff faced incumbent Republican David Perdue.