“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
The unfamiliar phrase served as a cry of relief for Democrats nationwide rejoicing in the news coming out of Georgia, where senatorial candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock were leading in the state’s runoff elections.
By Wednesday, both Democrats had declared victory against their Republican opponents, Senators David Perdue (R—GA) and Kelly Loeffler (R—GA), following record-level early voter turnout and massive fundraising efforts launched by both national parties.
While the Associated Press has not yet called both races for the Democrats, many were already celebrating the win across social media, with everyone from Hillary Clinton to lawmakers on Capitol Hill sharing in the festivities.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 6, 2021
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a nice ring to it.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 6, 2021
Just practicing: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
Sounding very, very good.
— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) January 6, 2021
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 6, 2021
Thank an organizer.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 6, 2021
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has a nice ring to it,” Gavin Newson, the Democratic governor of California, wrote in a tweet.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D—WA) said she was “just practicing” the Senate majority leader’s new title in a post, adding: “Sounding very, very good.”
Meanwhile, the current Senate minority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer (D—NY), offered his own two cents in a tweet that simply read: “Buckle up!”
Joy comes in the morning. Thank you, Georgia. pic.twitter.com/Dw8wPWAMeI
— Senator-Elect Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) January 6, 2021
Thank you, Georgia. https://t.co/IupT2d69aF
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) January 6, 2021
The news that both Mr Ossoff and Mr Warnock potentially unseated both Republicans in the once-reliably red state — which had not voted for a Democratic president since 1992, before flipping to President-elect Joe Biden in the November race — came as a shock to members on both sides of the political aisle this week.
Though polls showed a narrowing race between the Republican and Democratic candidates, folks were clearly surprised by the results as they come flooding in on Tuesday night.
But the president was anything but happy on Twitter, launching an all-caps tirade and describing the Democrats as “scoundrels” in a series of tweets that falsely claimed allegations of rampant voter fraud.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, OUR COUNTRY, NEEDS THE PRESIDENCY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE – THE POWER OF THE VETO. STAY STRONG!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Mr Trump’s tweets, almost immediately flagged by the platform for containing disputed claims of election fraud, urged Republicans to “be strong!” and continue fighting.
The news comes as Congress convenes to certify Mr Biden’s victory in the presidential elections on Wednesday, a typically mundane process that has become a potential flashpoint of controversy, with Mr Trump demanding Vice President Mike Pence — who oversees the event in a mostly symbolic role — to somehow intervene.
Mr Pence does not possess the power to intervene in the electoral process, however, and the national vote has already been certified by the Electoral College.