After GOP win in Alaska, Senate battle boils down to Georgia

In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo, Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan waves a sign at a busy intersection in Anchorage, Alaska. Sen. Sullivan on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, won re-election in Alaska, defeating independent Al Gross. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan won reelection in Alaska over Al Gross Wednesday, leaving control of the Senate to be determined by Georgia’s runoff elections in January.

The Associated Press declared victory for Sullivan, 55, over Gross, an independent running as a Democrat. Sullivan was leading by 58% to Gross’ 38%.

After Democrat Joe Biden won the electoral votes to clinch the presidency, Republicans are still short of the 51 seats they need for majority Senate 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.

Democrats need to pick up three Republican Senate seats to hold 50 Senate seats, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wielding the tie-breaking vote.

Democrats won Republican seats in Arizona and Colorado in last week’s election. But they lost a seat in Alabama, reducing their net gain to a single seat.

In Georgia, Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face challenges from Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively. 

Sullivan’s victory also comes on the same day that Georgia’s top election official announced the state will conduct a recount of all paper ballots cast in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Meanwhile, the race in North Carolina remains too early to call, according to the AP. Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham has conceded to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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