UPDATE: Biden congratulates Warnock as social media reacts to historic win

Rev. Raphael Warnock Defeats Republican Kelly Loeffler in Georgia. The Associated Press has projected Democrat Raphael Warnock’s victory over his Republican opponent in Georgia. . As of Wednesday morning, Warnock holds 50.6 percent of the vote with over 2.2 million votes. . That’s a lead of more than 40,000 votes over Kelly Loeffler. Warnock’s lead is outside of the .5 percentage point margin, meaning Loeffler will not be able to request a recount. . We were told that we couldn't win this election … But tonight we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible, Raphael Warnock, via NPR. In Georgia’s other Senate race, Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff has taken a slight lead over David Perdue. On Wednesday morning, Ossoff declared victory on the uncalled race with a lead of just over 16,000 votes. . Although the race is still within the recount margin, much of the remaining votes are coming from Democratic-leaning areas. . The results of these runoff elections are key to control in Congress, as Democrats already hold both the House and the presidency. . If both Warnock and Ossoff win, soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris would be able to break any ties in the 50-50 Senate, giving Democrats control there as well. . Senator Chuck Schumer would also unseat current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrats would control committees and the floor schedule.

The man who regularly delivers firebrand sermons from the same pulpit as did Daddy King and his son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., became Georgia’s first-ever Black senator in one of the most important Senate elections in recent history.

Dr. Raphael Warnock has been projected to defeat Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the job by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill out the unexpired term of the retired Johnny Isakson.

President-elect Joe Biden congratulated Warnock on his win late Wednesday morning.

Reaction to Warnock’s historic victory spread far and wide over the nation’s social media cyberwaves, not only from political leaders and activists but regular voters as well.

Voters woke to Wednesday morning still awaiting the outcome of Georgia’'s other U.S. senate runoff between GOP incumbent David Perdue and his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff.

Warnock has spent the past 15 years leading the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, an iconic symbol itself of the civil rights movement.

Not every social media post was in support of the new senator.

Warnock’s victory is a symbol of a striking shift in Georgia’s politics as the swelling number of diverse, college-educated voters flex their power in the heart of the Deep South.

Warnock follows Biden’s victory in November, when he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since 1992.

Warnock, 51, acknowledged his improbable victory in a message to supporters early Wednesday, citing his family’s experience with poverty. His mother, he said, used to pick “somebody else’s cotton” as a teenager.

“The other day, because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else’s cotton picked her youngest son to be a United States senator,” he said. “Tonight, we proved with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible.”

The Associated Press declared Warnock the winner after an analysis of outstanding votes showed there was no way for Loeffler to catch up to his lead. Warnock’s edge is likely to grow as more ballots are counted, many of which were in Democratic-leaning areas.

Loeffler refused to concede in a brief message to supporters shortly after midnight.

“We’ve got some work to do here. This is a game of inches. We’re going to win this election,” insisted Loeffler, a 50-year-old former businesswoman who was appointed to the Senate less than a year ago by the state’s governor.

Loeffler, who remains a Georgia senator until the results of Tuesday’s election are finalized, said she would return to Washington on Wednesday morning to join a small group of senators planning to challenge Congress’ vote to certify Biden’s victory.

“We are going to keep fighting for you,” Loeffler said, “This is about protecting the American dream.”

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