What to know today 🌅
Results from the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff elections started coming in after 7 p.m. (EST) Tuesday.
By early Wednesday morning, Democrat Raphael Warnock won one of Georgia’s two Senate runoffs. He became the first Black senator in his state’s history, putting the Senate majority within the party’s reach.
The focus now shifts to the second race between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. That contest was too early to call as votes were still being counted.
Democrats have to win both of the state’s Senate elections to gain the Senate majority. In such a scenario, the Senate would be equally divided 50-50 with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaker for Democrats.
President Donald Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the presidential election is going before Congress as lawmakers convene for a joint session to confirm the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden.
The typically routine proceeding Wednesday will be anything but, a political confrontation unseen since the aftermath of the Civil War as Trump mounts a desperate effort to stay in office. The president’s Republican allies in the House and Senate plan to object to the election results, heeding supporters’ plea to “fight for Trump” as he stages a rally outside the White House. It’s tearing the party apart.
Some Republican members in Congress, such as Michigan Reps. Tim Wallberg and Jack Bergman, said they are ready to object to Biden’s win on Wednesday as lawmakers meet to certify the election.
“We will not stand idly by without taking every lawfully available option to ensure the outcomes of our elections can be trusted. This includes objecting to the electoral votes from disputed states where there is evidence warranting an investigation,” the pair said in a joint statement.
“Our options are not binary. Congress has an obligation to the tens of millions of Americans who have lost faith in our election process to prove that our elections are free, fair, and follow laws in place.”
This effort is all but certain to fail. The main reason is that there’s a robust bipartisan majority in both the House and the Senate to accept the results of the election as they’ve been certified by the states. So the challenge that’s being mounted comes from about a dozen Republican senators — I think we’re up to 13 now — and as many as 100 House Republicans. But there are a total of 535 members of Congress (minus a few vacancies). Those are the numbers.
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 504,410 as of Tuesday, including 12,867 deaths, state officials report.
Tuesday’s update includes 2,291 new cases and 189 additional deaths, of which 117 are from a vital records review. On Monday, the state reported a total of 502,119 cases and 12,678 deaths.
New COVID-19 cases are slowing but deaths remain high in Michigan. Testing has slowed during the holiday, with more than 35,000 diagnostic tests reported per day, with the positive rate increasing to about 9% over the last few days. Hospitalizations have slowly decreased but remain relatively high, including in critical care and ventilator use.
Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,927 on Tuesday, slightly higher than the week before. The 7-day death average was 97. The state’s fatality rate is 2.5%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 129,000 on Monday. More than 363,000 have recovered in Michigan.
Here’s a look at more of the data: