5 takeaways from Georgia Senate runoffs

Here are some key takeaways after Tuesday's runoff elections

With Democrats projected to win at least one of the two Georgia Senate runoff races, they are inching closer to keeping Republicans from holding on to control of the upper body of Congress.

Democrat Raphael Warnock is projected to defeat Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., according to Fox News' Decision Desk early Wednesday.

WARNOCK PROJECTED TO DEFEAT LOEFFLER IN GEORGIA RUNOFF

The focus now shifts to the second race between Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, who are locked in a tight race.

Here are some key takeaways after Tuesday's election:

1. Senate control for Democrats is within reach

With Warnock's projected victory, Democrats are one win away from control of the Senate, making it more likely that President-elect Joe Biden would be able to pass his agenda through both the House and Senate. If Perdue prevails over Ossoff, Republicans would be able to foil many of the White House's plans.

According to Fox News Voter Analysis, voters clearly saw the Georgia runoffs as a battle for control of the Senate. Most said which party controlled the Senate was an important factor -- if not the single most important factor -- to their vote.

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The stakes couldn't have been higher in the dual runoff elections on Jan. 5, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told "Hannity" in November.

Graham said a Democratic majority in the Senate would create what he called the "trifecta from hell" in all the key positions of power, a reference to Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Democratic U.S. Senate challenger Jon Ossoff speaks to the media at Dunbar Neighborhood Center during Georgia's Senate runoff elections, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Democratic U.S. Senate challenger Jon Ossoff speaks to the media at Dunbar Neighborhood Center during Georgia's Senate runoff elections, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Throughout the campaign, Republicans accused Democrats of bringing unwanted socialism and higher taxes to national politics, while Democrats hit Republicans over the administration's handling of the pandemic and shortcomings on health care.

2. Trump's voter fraud allegations loomed large

Loeffler made an 11th-hour decision to back Trump by promising to object to the certification of the results of at least one state during Wednesday's Electoral College vote count by Congress.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., speaks as President Donald Trump listens during a campaign rally in support of Senate candidates Loeffler and David Perdue in Dalton, Ga., Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., speaks as President Donald Trump listens during a campaign rally in support of Senate candidates Loeffler and David Perdue in Dalton, Ga., Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (AP)

The attention on how Loeffler would handle electoral certification, an issue currently splitting the Republican Party, showed that Trump loomed large in this race. He has consistently argued that the 2020 presidential election was rife with widespread fraud and irregularities, allegations that have not been proven in court or found by state and local election officials who continue to investigate isolated fraud allegations. Many pundits were ready to blame Trump for any Republican shortfalls.

"It's a crazy time right now," Glenn Parada, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly's Florida political director, told Fox News.

His group has sent "busloads" of volunteers to Florida, he said.

"There's a huge population of Hispanic Republicans who feel like the vote was stolen [in the general election]," he said. "People ... are demoralized in politics because of what’s going on. They think their vote doesn't count anymore."

3. Biden heads toward Inauguration Day with one more projected Democratic victory

Biden campaigned for both Ossoff and Warnock in Georgia, as did Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and Warnock's projected win gives Biden momentum as he prepares to take the oath of office on Jan. 20.

Should Ossoff also win, Biden said Monday that $2,000 stimulus "payments would go out the door immediately," McClatchy DC reported.

An election worker at the Fulton County Georgia elections warehouse empties a bag following the Senate runoff election in Atlanta on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

An election worker at the Fulton County Georgia elections warehouse empties a bag following the Senate runoff election in Atlanta on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

4. Black voters made up a higher portion of the electorate compared to November

Black voters and those under age 45 helped challenger Warnock unseat incumbent Loefller. 

Data from the Fox News Voter Analysis (FNVA), a survey of approximately 4,000 Georgians, show the contours of both races are largely similar -- and mirrored November’s presidential results. The Democratic coalition centered on Black voters (Ossoff +88 points and Warnock +88 points), moderates (+34 in both races), those under age 45 (+16 / +18 points) and suburban voters (+4 / +6 points).  Blacks made up 32% of the runoff electorate, up from 29% in November. 

5. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says election 'running smoothly'

As Trump continues to cast doubt on Georgia's presidential election results, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger declared that Tuesday's election was "running smoothly," 11Alive reported.

Trump and Raffensperger have been at odds as the president insists Georgia's results in the presidential election were wrongly certified, and Trump also alleged the possibility of a "voter dump" on Tuesday night.

GEORGIA ELECTION OFFICIAL WHO SLAMMED TRUMP'S VOTER FRAUD CLAIMS SAYS HE'LL VOTE FOR GOP SENATE CANDIDATES

"Looks like they are setting up a big 'voter dump' against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?" he wrote on Twitter.

There were a few hiccups, however. Voters in Columbia County were forced to use paper ballots instead of machines for part of Tuesday morning because of technical issues, WRDW reported.

Trump was quick to weigh in on the news.

"Reports are coming out of the 12th Congressional District of Georgia that Dominion Machines are not working in certain Republican Strongholds for over an hour. Ballots are being left in lock boxes, hopefully they count them," he wrote on Twitter.

"[T]his issue in Columbia Co. was resolved hours ago and our office informed the public about it in real time," Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling responded on Tuesday. "The votes of everyone will be protected and counted. Sorry you received old intel Mr. President."

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Fox News' Brooke Singman, Andrew Schwartz, Margaret Ann Campbell, Dana Blanton and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.