Democrat Jon Ossoff was declared the winner Wednesday afternoon of one of two Senate seats in Georgia, defeating Sen. David Perdue and giving the Democrats control of the chamber for the first time in six years.
Early Wednesday morning, Democrat Raphael Warnock won against Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican.
The Senate runoff news was overtaken Wednesday, however, by supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown as legislators convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Biden said in a televised address Wednesday afternoon that “at this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault.”
With the Democratic wins in Georgia, “It feels like a brand new day,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wedesday morning 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.”
Schumer will become majority leader, replacing Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Schumer added that “For too long, much-needed help has been stalled or diluted by a Republican-led Senate and President Trump. That will change with a Democratic Senate, Democratic House, and a Democratic President.”
Greg Valliere, chief U.S. strategist for AGF Investments, said in his Wednesday morning email briefing, that “Everyone who went to bed last night thinking there might be a split decision in Georgia got quite a surprise this morning — it appears that the Democrats have won both races.”
President Elect Joe Biden “is likely to get all of his Cabinet nominations approved,” Valliere opined, with the possible exception of Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget.
Tanden “has Democratic detractors,” Valliere wrote. “But Biden will not have to spend political capital on his nominations, and he now has the upper hand on judicial appointments.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.4%, while the S&P 500 rose about 0.6% and the Nasdaq fell 0.6%.
“In the short term, investors will be pleased by the prospect of greater stimulus,” Andy Friedman, founder and principal of The Washington Update, told ThinkAdvisor. “Later, though, they will fear a tax increase, which the Democrats could pass without regard to the filibuster.”