The Democratic Party of US President-elect Joe Biden is closing in to take control of the Senate as results come in from the two elections in the state of Georgia in what was seen as a boost for the incoming administration.
Pastor Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, defeated Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, to become the first Black senator in Georgia history and the first Black Democrat to be elected to the Senate in the country’s South.
In the other contest, David Perdue, the Republican whose Senate term ended on Sunday, was trailing his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff, whose narrow lead continued to grow on Wednesday.
The two were separated by less than half a percentage point with thousands of votes still to be counted, many of them from Democratic-leaning areas.
On Wednesday morning, Ossoff declared victory and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, proclaimed that his party would win the majority.
“It feels like a brand new day,” Schumer said in a statement. “For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate — and that will be very good for the American people.”
Senator Perdue has not yet conceded.
If both Democrats officially win, Biden will have a much better chance of pushing through his legislative agenda.
It comes as US lawmakers prepare to confirm Biden’s presidential election victory.
A joint session of Congress isn being held to count and confirm electoral college votes, but some Republicans are seeking to overturn the results in a number of states.
The bid is almost certain to fail, experts said. However, both houses of Congress may have to spend hours debating their objections.
At the same time, supporters of President Donald Trump are holding a “Save America Rally” in the capital city of Washington.
Trump told the crowds he would “never concede” the 3 November election. He has repeatedly alleged electoral fraud without providing evidence.
He blasted Republicans who plan to vote to certify Mr Biden’s victory as “weak”.