- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 5, 2020

The GOP challenger in Michigan’s Senate race demanded an investigation into the vote in that state, while in Georgia the Democratic challenger made up enough ground to force a January runoff with incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue.

Days after the election, control of the Senate remains unclear, with races still uncalled in Alaska and North Carolina, a disputed result in Arizona, and now new questions in Michigan, where GOP challenger John James watched his election-night lead evaporate, and now trails incumbent Democratic Sen. Gary Peters by about 1.5 percentage points out of about 5.5 million votes.

“While Senator Peters is currently ahead, I have deep concerns that millions of Michiganders may have been disenfranchised by a dishonest few who cheat,” Mr. James said in a statement. “When this process is complete, I will of course accept the results and the will of the people, but at this time there is enough credible evidence to warrant an investigation to ensure that elections were conducted in a transparent, legal and fair manner.”

His statement did not say what evidence he was talking about.

Mr. Peters mocked the suggestion.

“It’s sad and it’s pathetic. They lost, it’s very clear,” the Democrat said.

As it stands, Republicans appear to have 48 seats. GOP candidates are also leading in Alaska and North Carolina, where vote-counting is moving slowly.

Republicans are also holding out hope that Sen. Martha McSally can close the gap as Arizona continues its counting, though some news organizations have projected Democrat Mark Kelly as the winner.

Whatever happens elsewhere, the final makeup of the Senate won’t be known until January, when the two Georgia races are settled.

One will pit Mr. Perdue against Jon Ossoff, who managed to hold the Republican incumbent to less than 50% of the vote on Tuesday. Under Georgia’s rules, if nobody crosses that threshold it means a run-off of the top two candidates.

Republicans expressed confidence.

“David Perdue won this race in regular time and will do the same in overtime,” said Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

As of Thursday evening Mr. Perdue had 49.95% of the vote, while Mr. Ossoff had 47.74%.

Ben Fry, the Perdue campaign manager, said Mr. Perdue will end up with more votes than Mr. Ossoff, even if the senator drops below the 50% mark. That, the campaign said, leaves Mr. Perdue in solid shape for a runoff.

“It is clear that more Georgians believe that David Perdue’s positive vision for the future direction of our country is better than Chuck Schumer’s radical, socialist agenda,” said Ben Fry, the Perdue campaign manager. “There’s only one candidate in this race who has ever lost a runoff, and it isn’t David Perdue.”

That was a reference to Mr. Ossoff’s 2017 run for a House seat, where he failed to crack the 50% mark on Election Day, then lost a runoff.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee countered that Mr. Perdue is “scandal-plagued,” and said the tight presidential race shows that Georgia is now a swing state.

“We’re ready to help Jon flip this seat,” said Scott Fairchild, executive director of the DSCC.

Georgia’s other runoff has Sen. Kelly Loeffler facing off against Democrat Raphael Warnock. Mr. Warnock won the most votes on Election Day, but the GOP vote was split between two candidates. Republicans argue in a head-to-head matchup Ms. Loeffler will easily prevail.

In Arizona, Ms. McSally trailed by more than 4 points behind Mr. Kelly, though more than 10% of the vote was still outstanding as of Thursday afternoon.

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis leads Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham by nearly 2 points, or about 100,000 votes out of about 5.5 million.

In Alaska, a state where Republicans have only lost one. Senate election since 1980, Sen. Dan Sullivan held a massive 62%-32% lead over Al Gross, an independent who was backed by Democrats.

The Gross campaign manager, David Keith, insisted the race was still “in a state of flux.”

“Sullivan is benefitting from an early lead, but with approximately 44.6% of the ballots not yet counted, his lead can — and we believe will — be overcome once every vote has been counted in the state,” Mr. Keith said.

Alaska won’t start counting early-vote or mail-in ballots until next week.

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