Who will control the U.S. Senate? Breakdown of Georgia’s run-off election

Georgia faces two runoffs for both its U.S. Senate seats. Voters will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate with two January runoff elections. 

Georgia election rules called for runoff races for both Senate seats when no candidate in either race received the 50% majority of votes required by Georgia Law to be titled the winner during the Nov. 3 general election. 

Democrats need to flip both seats to have unified control of the White House and Congress. Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face competitive challenges from Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, respectively. 

Loeffler was appointed last year by Gov. Brian Kemp to succeed Sen. Johnny Isakson after he retired due to health issues. In the Nov. 3 election, Loeffler faced 19 other candidates in a special election to be officially voted into office by Georgia residents until 2022.

Democrats have only flipped one seat in Congress for a total of 48, while Republicans have won 50 seats.

If Democrats win both Georgia Senate races, the U.S. Senate would be split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, forcing Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to be the tie-breaking vote. This would give the party unified control of the White House and Congress.

Georgia has not elected a Democratic senator since 1996.

Nov. 3 Georgia Senate election results 

  • Raphael Warnock: 32.9%
  • Kelly Loeffler: 25.9%


  • David Perdue: 49.7%
  • Jon Ossoff: 48%

Key elections dates 

Nov. 18 — Election officials can begin mailing absentee ballots

Registered voters in Georgia can cast their ballot by mail. Voters can request an absentee ballot through an online portal

Applicants can also submit ballots by mail, fax or in person at the voter’s county registrar’s office. After voters receive and mail their ballots, voters’ ballot status can be tracked through Georgia Ballot Trax online. Ballots can be returned by mail or deposited in any official absentee ballot dropbox.

All absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 to be considered eligible.

Dec. 7 — Voter registration deadline

Eligible Georgia residents can register to vote online or by mailing an application to the 

Secretary of State’s office. Georgia residents may also register when they renew or apply for a driver’s license at the Department of Driver Services.

Voters can check their registration status online.

Residents who were not old enough to vote in the November election but will turn 18 by Jan. 5 can register to vote in the runoff elections.

Dec. 14 — In-person early voting begins

Georgia will hold 16 days of in-person early voting, from Dec. 14 to Dec. 29. Voters can find the nearest early voting locations and hours online.

Jan. 5, 2021 — Election Day

Jan. 5 is the last day to vote in Georgia’s Senate runoff elections. The polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m.