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Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate with victories in Georgia’s two runoff elections. Jon Ossoff defeated David Perdue (R), whose Senate term lapsed Sunday. And Raphael Warnock won his race against Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Here’s what to know:

  • Democrats’ success has abruptly shifted the outlook for Joe Biden’s presidency, giving him much stronger hopes of prevailing on ambitious legislation, sensitive nominations and possibly Supreme Court justice picks.
  • Ossoff and Warnock both lead their opponents by more than the 0.5 percentage-point threshold for a recount, powered to victory by record-breaking turnout among Black voters.
  • Their wins were overshadowed Wednesday by violence and a chaotic breakdown in the democratic process. A mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, where Congress was confirming Biden’s victory, and one woman was fatally shot.
  • Fulton County, Georgia’s largest, paused its vote counting on Wednesday evening amid concerns for officials’ security.
  • Ossoff and Warnock will be the first Democrats elected to the Senate from Georgia in 20 years. Here are four takeaways from the initial results.
  • Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide who has never held public office, will be the youngest newly elected Democratic senator since Joe Biden in 1973. Warnock, a pastor at the church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, will be the first African American Democratic senator from a former Confederate state.