Update 8:00 a.m. Good morning! We’ll catch you up here.
Raphael Warnock has won. He’s outside the margin of error, and leads by about 53,500 votes out of a bit over 4.4 million cast. If there’s a recount in this race, a court will need to order it or Kelly Loeffler will be forced to pay for it.
Jon Ossoff has won. Though it hasn’t been called by the networks or the AP, it has by Decision Desk. Ossoff leads by a bit more than 16,000 votes, which right now is inside that magic 0.5% threshold. A recount would be necessary unless Ossoff can extend his advantage by about 6,000 votes with the remaining 2% that aren’t in yet. That’s likely to happen as well.
Update 1:50 a.m. DeKalb just dumped in about one-third of their outstanding vote, and now Warnock leads 50.5% to 49.5%, and that means he’s been declared the projected winner by NBC News.
And that same update from DeKalb now makes it Ossoff 50.04% (2,195,441 votes) to Perdue 49.96% (2,191,881 votes). That makes the Ossoff lead 3,560, and it’ll keep growing as there’s still plenty of DeKalb to be counted. Him getting outside the automatic recount range would be the next step.
Update 1:20 a.m. We’re holding on here for another wave of votes from Metro Atlanta which should put Ossoff in the lead by the actual tally and not just the projected one. But it appears there are technical glitches that are keeping the votes from being counted right now. There are about 19,000 votes in DeKalb outstanding.
Update 12:55 a.m. The bettors have seen enough as well: Warnock is at .99 at PredictIt, Ossoff is at .97, and Democrats to take control of the Senate is at .96 at PredictIt. It’s all over but the recounting.
Even though Ossoff is still down 919 votes out of 4.4 million cast in Georgia to Perdue at this second, there’s just too much of DeKalb remaining (7.1% of the vote is outstanding, and so far he’s won 82.5% of counted ballots in that county).
Update 12:45 a.m. Raphael Warnock gave a victory speech.
WATCH NOW: Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock speaks as voting continues in the Georgia Senate runoffs. CBS News projects that the race between Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler now leans Warnock https://t.co/KjUGN77KG8 pic.twitter.com/NwiHctObOC— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 6, 2021
Sidebar: Do we call him Reverend Senator-elect, or Senator-elect Reverend? What’s Hints From Heloise say about style and title here?
Update Wednesday 12:35 a.m.: Great piece here from our sister site Vox (which is like saying my close personal friend John Cena because I see him at Starbucks sometimes) about the rules of a recount in Georgia. This will matter because both Ossoff and Warnock can’t be seated in the Senate until the race is certified, and that will be a slightly longer process if a recount is initiated.
Also Kelly Loeffler came out and gave a quick speech that didn’t concede, but she’s down a over 35,000 votes right now, and that margin will get bigger.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) tells supporters: "This is a game of inches, we're going to win this election." pic.twitter.com/MSiaeoT7GQ— The Recount (@therecount) January 6, 2021
Update 11:55 p.m. The other race has been called from Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report, and this one is for Jon Ossoff to defeat David Perdue. It does seem like the networks aren’t too anxious to make a call here, so it might be awhile until we get something official from a major media outlet.
Update 11:45 p.m. The gap is 456 votes between David Perdue and Jon Ossoff out of nearly 4.3 million cast. The thing about every vote counts? It’s true! But it’s very likely Ossoff will surpass Perdue soon, and the question becomes will he be able to get outside the automatic recount threshold of 0.5% statewide. It seems possible he’ll be able to gain the lead necessary, which would be around 22,000 votes when all is said and done.
But the race for Raphael Warnock now shows him with a 34,591 vote lead, and that translates to 50.4% to 49.6% in Warnock’s favor. Loeffler would need to pay for a recount if she wanted one.
At PredictIt, the Democrats are .89 to take control of the Senate, as is Ossoff at .89, but Warnock is .96 to win.
Update 11:25 p.m. DeKalb is in!
With 4,222,276 cast, David Perdue leads Jon Ossoff by 15,610 votes
With 4,221,623 cast, Raphael Warnock leads Kelly Loeffler by 19,809 votes.
DeKalb is 95% reported, so there are still about 37,000 votes out, and they’ll run between 85-92% for the Democrats. There are also 50,000 votes in Fulton County (Atlanta), and those run a bit less than 2-to-1 for the Democrats. Also Chatham County (Savannah) has about 27,000 votes out, also about 2-to-1 for Ossoff and Warnock.
The path for the Republicans is now beyond slim. They’re chugging down the sideline for now, but they are the tight end being chased by a defensive back with 4.2 speed.
Update 11:00 p.m. Welcome to DeKalb Watch! It’s the hot new show the entire country is watching... likely because there’s nothing else available on network television as we begin local newscasts on the east coast.
While Loeffler leads Warnock by 70,831 votes and Perdue leads Ossoff by 107,350 with 90% of Georgia reporting, it’s still likely not going to be enough. And that’s because we’re still waiting on 58% of DeKalb County to report their vote.
And here’s the rest of the outstanding vote according to the New York Times:
It’s why Democratic control of the Senate is at .89 to .14 for the Republican party on PredictIt as of right now.
Update 10:40 p.m. Let’s check in on the DraftKings Sportsbook Georgia Senate Pool, as it looks like we have most of our answers so far. Though there’s two we’ll need to make official, and another we can’t count until 1 p.m. tomorrow.
If you went with the pollsters and polling (and if you didn’t we understand after their performance in November), you did pretty well. The race is breaking about exactly as predicted.
Who will win their Georgia Senate runoff? Jon Ossoff*, Raphael Warnock* (*not official)
Will Republicans have a majority in the Senate after the runoff? No
Which Senate candidate will receive the highest number of votes? Raphael Warnock
Will any Senate candidate concede before 1PM on 1/6? We’ll see!
Will any Senate candidate receive over 55% of the vote? No
Which Republican candidate will receive more votes? David Perdue
Which Democrat candidate will receive more votes? Raphael Warnock
Update 10:15 p.m. G. Elliott Morris of The Economist says they’ve called it as well for Jon Ossoff. And here’s why: DeKalb County just has way too much vote out to not be overcome. As of now, Ossoff has 82.8% of the vote amongst the 37% that has reported in that same county. We should have that vote by 11 p.m.
Control of the Senate now stands at .90 at PredictIt for the Democrats.
Update 10:00 p.m. The Democrats to gain control of the Senate by winning both races is now at .89 on PredictIt, with Ossoff by himself at .92 to win the seat over Perdue.
Update 9:45 p.m. We have our first official call, as Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has called the race for Raphael Warnock over Kelly Loeffler. It’s not a network news call (though Wasserman is a contributor for NBC News), but Wasserman has been very, very accurate in the past when he does this.
Update 9:30 p.m. As the outstanding vote remains, plenty of it has something in common...
And that of course favors Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock heavily.
As we write this, Kelly Loeffler leads Warnock 1,466,821 to 1,451,337 for a 0.54% advantage with 69% of the vote statewide counted. But with so much of the vote in Metro Atlanta outstanding, that’s not going to be nearly enough of a lead. The numbers for Ossoff aren’t quite as good (he’s 1.4% behind David Perdue), but with most of the remaining 31% of the vote available coming from The 404, that could easily be made up at any time depending on when the votes come in.
There’s an estimated 192,000 votes in DeKalb County alone for Warnock outstanding, with just 34,000 for Loeffler.
Update 9:00 p.m. As bad as the 2020 election cycle has been for polling, perhaps 2021 would be a bit better? These are the New York Times real-time projections right now, and keep in mind the final estimates from FiveThirtyEight.com, which aggregates all polling for the cycle, had Ossoff with a 1.8% lead, with Warnock 2.1% ahead.
Despite many pollsters sitting out the Georgia runoffs, it looks like the industry might be able to breathe a bit easier in a post-Trump world.
Update 8:45 p.m. Your favorite cable channel or news network division might not be calling it, but the bettors are getting there: PredictIt has Democrats at .79, and Republicans at .25 in what we can described as very active trading. But at least the website hasn’t crashed tonight like during the November 3rd election, costing investors the ability to trade on millions and millions of dollars in real time as they had been promised.
Update 8:35 p.m. Let’s take a look at some example counties with that might explain why what’s happening. And so far the biggest difference is that the rural counties are running more Democratic than usual. Here’s North Georgia’s Rabun County.
While Raphael Warnock is getting smoked, he’s getting smoked by less than he was in November. And this seems to be the pattern across all of both North and South Georgia in rural areas. And picking up 1-5% per county in counties you’re losing, especially in regions where turnout is down from November anyway, is good for the math.
Here are some examples from South Georgia of the same concept, but with a more moderate vote in the first place, they’re moving even further in the column for the blue team.
Update 8:20 p.m. If these numbers hold, we might not know a final margin this evening, but we might know a winner.
Washington Co. (rural central GA, racially polarized) looks fully reported:— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) January 6, 2021
Biden (November) +0.7
And turnout is at 90.6% of November levels. These are great numbers for both Dems.
Ossoff continues to do more than what he needs to do. pic.twitter.com/u1MHfY4WOU— Sean T at RCP (@SeanTrende) January 6, 2021
Update 8:15 p.m. Chuck Schumer might be shifting desks in the upper house of the United States Congress, as you’d much rather be him than Mitch McConnell right now.
The out-perform for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock continues, but it’s also in counties their losing. Remember the goal isn’t necessarily to win, but to just do better than expected. Losing a county by 20% is fine if you’re expected to drop it by 25%. And that’s what’s happening in a lot of rural Georgia right now.
January 6, 2021
The other side of it is being shown at PredictIt, where a Democrat sweep of both seats is at .71 cents right now, to .32 for the Republicans maintaining control.
Update 7:53 p.m. It’s certainly not a blue wave in Georgia yet, but is it a ripple? Perhaps a rock skip? Whatever you call it, it’s getting pounced on by bettors at PredictIt who have the Democrats at .61 vs. 42 for Republicans to control the Senate after this election.
It’s the first time the Democrats have been above water since the market was created in November.
Update 7:45 p.m. While the early numbers were good for the Republicans, they are coming back to the Democrats as some smaller counties report:
Another great result for Democrats in Turner County (>98% reported):— Ryan Matsumoto (@ryanmatsumoto1) January 6, 2021
Perdue +21 (was Perdue +26.6 in November)
Ossoff needs to outpace his November performance by 1.78 points on the margin on average statewide to win.#GASEN #ElectionNight
We’ll see if these numbers hold statewide, but you’d rather be Warnock than any of the other three candidates as of right now.
Warnock seems to be doing a bit better than Ossoff now in the statewide vote totals.— Ryan Matsumoto (@ryanmatsumoto1) January 6, 2021
This seems to be because Warnock is outperforming him in Fulton and Gwinnett counties.#GASEN #ElectionNight
Update 7:30 p.m. And now some good news for the Democrats you probably don’t want to read into too much as well: Both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are running ahead of their totals in the mail-in vote in Fulton County (Atlanta) and Gwinnett County (east Atlanta suburb). Jon Ossoff has 80% of the early vote in Fulton, and 70% in Gwinnett, whereas Warnock is doing even better: He’s got 81% in Fulton, and 71% in Gwinnett.
Both these numbers are ahead of what Joe Biden’s performance was in these counties, and as you might be aware, that was enough to win the White House. If anything, with a slightly smaller pool of voters for the runoff (projected at 4.2 million as opposed to 5 million for the November election), it might just come down to turnout in urban areas vs. turnout in rural ones.
But again: we’ve got a long, long way to go here.
Update 7:20 p.m. You don’t want to extrapolate too much considering this is one of the smallest of the 159 counties in play this evening. But this is a good sign for Republicans in rural areas if this pattern can continue.
We have what might be our first near-complete county, and it's Webster in rural SW GA:— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) January 6, 2021
November: Trump 748-639
If Webster's near done, it's not great for the Dems...still early...
Update 7:15 p.m. Betting odds check time!
While most of the offshore books we’ve been checking have taken down their odds, PredictIt is still taking action. And they’ve got Raphael Warnock ahead of Kelly Loeffler .53 to .50, while David Perdue is ahead of Jon Ossoff .64 to .42.
Update 7:00 p.m. The polls are closed! Unless you’re in line and reading this on your cell phone in The Peach State, because stay there as they have to let you vote.
Also all the networks have declared both races “Too Close To Call.” Surprise!
Update 6:55 p.m. As we get ready for the polls to close, something to keep in mind: The Democrats are for sure going to be losing for awhile. They’re already out in front saying they’ll need the early vote counted, and the bigger counties that take longer to count to come in: “We will be wildly down tonight,” said a senior aide, mindful of the fact the larger counties will take longer to count.
Update 5:15 p.m. We don’t have votes yet, but we do have some exit polling. This will have to do for the political junkies for now, and let’s lead with the caveat that exit polling is very much not the most accurate form of the science of polling.
93% of Democrats thought the 2020 general election was fair, whereas 76% of Republicans thought it was unfair. And only 42% of Georgians are “very confident” that their vote will be counted accurately, while 31% more are just “somewhat confident.” That leaves 18% that are “not very confident” and 8% that are “not at all confident.”
It shows the divide in the nation will be a part of this election. And since exit polls only question those that have voted, tonight might turn on how many people stayed home because they fell in the latter categories. Here are the early numbers so far:
Voters by race
Voters by Party ID
Update 2:45 p.m. If you’re looking to play with the data on the Georgia election, here’s a fun tool that you can play with. This Elect Project GitHub has all the updated data per county and demographic information, including early vote and mail in votes so far. It’s all been updated for today, which is how we know exactly 3,093,375 voted early in Georgia so far, which is 40% of the electorate.
Check out the county-by-county data if you’re looking to see who’s already been counted as a voter, and which places (mostly in rural Georgia) the Republican party will need to add votes in the next four hours or so.
The fate of which party will control the United States Senate is on the line tonight as voting in the runoff elections in Georgia will complete at 7 p.m. this evening. And DK Nation will be here all night breaking down the elections as well as answering the questions from our DraftKings Sportsbook Georgia Senate Runoff Pool, where you can win up to $1000 by picking the winners and losers as well as what will happen tonight!
While we might not know the winners for quite awhile since even some early votes can’t begin to be tabulated until today, we might have a pretty good idea later this evening who will be serving The Peach State in the 117th Congress: Republican David Perdue or Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Republican Kelly Loeffler or Democrat Raphael Warnock.
The turnout has been by far the most in the history of a Georgia runoff, and it seems to be leaning a bit more towards the Atlanta area. That’s good for Democrats, and the polling ever-so-slightly tilts towards them right now as well. But remember the Republicans tend to vote much more on Election Day, and the polls certainly leaned a bit to the left on November 3rd.
We’ll be here all night going over the results, and potentially for a couple more days as well, tracking the odds and seeing who might be the winners.