Perdue’s concession gives Democrats a razor-thin majority in the United States for at least two more years.
Georgia Sen. David Perdue has conceded the result of his run-off election to Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.
“Although we won the general election, we came up just short of Georgia’s 50% rule, and now I want to congratulate the Democratic Party and my opponent for this runoff win,” Perdue said in a statement. “Bonnie and I will continue to pray for our wonderful state and our great country. May God continue to bless Georgia and the United States of America.”
Georgia, notes CNN, is one of several states which hosts run-off elections.
In a run-off election, voters cast their ballots as usual. But if any single candidate fails to win a plurality of votes, another election is held between the two top contenders.
During the November 2020 general election, both of Georgia’s incumbent Republican senators managed to win over 50% of the vote, although they had each secured the largest number of ballots.
The Georgia run-off was seen as critical to the balance of political power in the United States: with a near-even split in the Senate, a Democratic sweep of Georgia would have—and eventually did—give liberals a majority in Senate.
Democrats now control the White House, Senate, and House for at least two more years.
While Ossoff clinched Georgia’s second available Senate seat by a small margin, his victory nonetheless gives Democrats “control” of the Senate for the first time in nearly a decade.
CNN notes that, although Perdue has accepted Ossoff’s win, he did not call Ossoff to personally congratulate him.
Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, the other Republican incumbent, has also admitted defeat to Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Taken individually, both men’s victories are historic. Senator-elect Jon Ossoff will become the first Jewish senator in Georgia history, while Senator-elect Raphael Warnock will become the state’s first Black senator.
Warnock, adds CBS News, is also one of a very few Black men to have won a Senate seat in the Deep South.
Both Warnock and Ossoff overcame the disadvantage of overcoming incumbents—thanks, in part, to a massive fundraising drive by Democrats, as well as activist efforts to increase awareness of the election’s importance. Stacey Abrams, a former Democratic contender for Georgia’s governorship, has been credited with laying the groundwork for the Senate wins by registering and mobilizing hundreds of thousands of minority voters.
With Warnock and Ossoff’s dual victories in Georgia, the Senate is now split 50-50.
Since the Senate is tied, Vice President-e Kamala Harris—a Democrat—will be able to exercise her position’s legislative authority to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event of any gridlock. Since Harris is expected to side with other left-wing legislators, Democrats effectively have a razor-thin majority in the Senate.