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Early in-person voting begins in GA Senate runoff

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Early in-person voting began in Georgia on Monday for a pair of political races that will determine control of the U.S. Senate and heavily influence Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to enact his agenda.

The Senate runoff contests end January 5th… with Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler squaring off against respective Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Republicans could have the advantage in a state their party has long dominated. But Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia over President Donald Trump last month has buoyed Democratic hopes of another win, aided by aggressive Democratic voter registration drives and demographic trends that could work in their favor.

Trump campaigned in the state earlier this month, but GOP infighting over his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud has led some Republicans to worry that the president’s most ardent supporters could stay home in protest.

Still, more than 246,000 Georgians have already voted by mail, according to the U.S. Elections Project, raising expectations for a mammoth runoff turnout of between 3.5 and 4 million voters. Just over 5 million people voted in the general election.

Biden is expected to visit Atlanta on Tuesday in support of Warnock and Ossoff while Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Augusta Thursday for his third visit to the state in recent weeks to rally for Perdue and Loeffler.

Even one victory for the Republicans in Georgia will mean the GOP maintains control of the Senate, but wins by both Democrats, Ossoff and Warnock, would give each party 50 seats in the chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris empowered to break ties, thereby giving Democrats the edge.

Video Transcript

- Early in-person voting began in Georgia on Monday for a pair of political races that will determine control of the US Senate and heavily influence Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's ability to enact his agenda. The Senate runoff contests end January 5th with Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler squaring off against respective Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Republicans could have the advantage in a state their party has long dominated but Biden's narrow victory in Georgia over President Donald Trump last month has buoyed Democratic hopes of another win, aided by aggressive Democratic voter registration drives and demographic trends that could work in their favor.

DONALD TRUMP: But you can't ever accept when they steal and rig and rob.

- Trump campaigned in the state earlier this month but GOP infighting over his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud has led some Republicans to worry that the president's most ardent supporters could stay home in protest. Still, more than 246,000 Georgians have already voted by mail according to the US Elections Project, raising expectations for a mammoth runoff turnout of between 3.5 and 4 million voters. Just over 5 million people voted in the general election.

Biden is expected to visit Atlanta on Tuesday in support of Warnock and Ossoff, while Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Augusta on Thursday for his third visit to the state in recent weeks, to rally for Perdue and Loeffler. Even one victory for the Republicans in Georgia will mean the GOP maintains control of the Senate but wins by both Democrats Ossoff and Warnock would give each party 50 seats in the chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris empowered to break ties, thereby giving Democrats the edge.