McConnell, Graham warn GOP Senate majority on the line in Georgia

Top Republicans are warning that GOP control of the Senate is coming down to two runoff elections expected early next year in Georgia.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop Harry Reid 'not particularly optimistic' Biden will push to eliminate filibuster Senators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (R-S.C.), in separate press conferences Friday, warned it's still unclear which party will control the Senate in 2021.

"I'm not certain I'm the majority leader yet. As you all may have noticed, that will be determined in Georgia," McConnell told reporters in Kentucky.


"It makes a big difference who wins the two seats in Georgia. If the Democrats were to win the two seats, Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers MORE would be the majority leader," McConnell added, noting that GOP losses in the runoffs would allow the New York Democrat to "decide what the agenda is."

Graham, during a Zoom call with reporters, didn't rule out campaigning in Georgia ahead of the Jan. 5 election there.

"The fate of the Senate now depends on Georgia. I like our chances in the runoffs," Graham said.

Based on races that have been called so far, Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked at 48 seats each.

Besides Georgia, the two remaining uncalled races are expected to go toward Republicans.


In North Carolina, Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader Democrats see Georgia as model for success across South MORE (R) has had a small but steady lead, and officials in both parties acknowledge that Democratic nominee Cal Cunningham is unlikely to overcome his vote deficit. In Alaska, Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanSenators vet Buttigieg to run Transportation Department McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time Senate poised to override Trump's defense bill veto MORE (R) is on pace to cruise to reelection.

Those two seats would put Republicans at 50 seats, leaving the two Georgia races as Democrats' only chance at forcing a 50-50 margin. If former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFive examples of media's sycophancy for Biden on inauguration week Drastic measures for drastic times — caregiver need mobile health apps Boycott sham impeachment MORE wins the White House and Republicans lose both races in Georgia, that would give Democrats a slim majority since vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden talks NATO, climate change in first presidential call with France's Macron Biden must wait weekend for State Department pick Senators introduce bill to award Officer Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal MORE (D) could cast any tie-breaking votes in the Senate.

One runoff in Georgia is already guaranteed, with Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLimbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Suburbs pose challenge for GOP in post-Trump era Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority MORE (R) facing Democratic nominee Raphael Warnock.

The second race between Sen. David PerdueDavid PerdueSuburbs pose challenge for GOP in post-Trump era Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader MORE (R) and Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff has yet to be called, but is expected by officials on both sides to head to a runoff.

Perdue would need to remain above 50 percent from Tuesday's election to avoid a runoff. He fell below 50 percent on Thursday and has incrementally ticked down to 49.84 percent.

Democrats are feeling bullish about the inroads they've made in Georgia, with Biden pulling ahead of President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE in the state's presidential vote count on Friday.

Sen. Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSenate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Why are millions still flowing into the presidential inauguration? Transition of power: Greatness meets infamy MORE (D-Nev.), who chairs the Democratic campaign arm, said Friday that the two runoffs "keep the fight for the majority firmly in play."