With GOP win in Alaska, control of Senate pushes to January

Sen. Dan Sullivan, right front, R-Alaska, poses for a photograph with supporter Rolando Torralba at a campaign party Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Control of the Senate won’t be decided until the new year after Republicans won a seat in Alaska on Wednesday. Neither party can lock the majority until January runoffs in Georgia.

Incumbent Alaska GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan defeated Al Gross, an independent running as a Democrat.

Republicans are still short of the 51 seats they need for majority control. They have a 49-48 hold on the Senate with the Alaska win, but two races in Georgia are heading to a Jan. 5 runoff.

The Georgia runoff elections, set for Jan. 5, are swiftly becoming a showdown over control of the chamber. The state is closely divided, with Democrats making gains on Republicans, fueled by a surge of new voters. But no Democrat has been elected senator in some 20 years.

GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler will face Rafael Warnock, and Republican Sen. David Perdue will face Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.