Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) has a chance to hold onto her seat after winning enough votes on Tuesday night to move the race to a runoff election.
She will face off against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock in January after neither candidate won a majority outright, Politico reported.
“Republicans coming together”
Loeffler was appointed to the Senate last year to replace longtime GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson, who retired. Whichever candidate wins the special election will serve out the remaining two years of Isakson’s term, according to Fox News.
According to Politico, neither Loeffler nor Warnock received more than 28% of the share of votes out of a crowded race that included 20 candidates.
The Republican incumbent fended off a challenge from within her own party from Rep. Doug Collins, who conceded defeat after finishing a distant third in the race.
“I just called [Loeffler] and congratulated her on making the runoff,” he tweeted late Tuesday. “She has my support and endorsement. I look forward to all Republicans coming together. Raphael Warnock would be a disaster for Georgia and America.”
After the runoff election was announced, Loeffler reiterated her campaign message of standing up against an increasingly extreme Democratic Party platform.
“In January, I have one of the most radical opponents on the Democratic ticket in the whole country: Raphael Warnock,” she declared of the upcoming faceoff, as Politico reported.
A look ahead
Georgia has long been seen as a critical battleground state in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate, not to mention its key electoral votes in a presidential race that has still yet to be called.
As for President Donald Trump, his re-election campaign was leading comfortably in several toss-up states as of Wednesday morning, but he soon lost his advantage in Michigan and Wisconsin. His campaign, however, has signaled a willingness to fight for every vote and the belief that he has a path to victory through the states of Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Furthermore, the campaign has confirmed it will push for a recount of the votes in Wisconsin. Mail-in ballots continued to be counted on Wednesday in Georgia. A loss for Trump would considerably narrow his path to a second term.
Although many aspects of the election remain up in the air, the GOP is expected to retain control of the Senate despite hopes among Democrats of a “blue wave.” If Loeffler proves successful in beating her opponent in January, the outlook for Republicans on Capitol Hill would become even brighter.