A newly formed battleground–the state of Georgia–shocked the nation when it flipped for President-elect Joe Biden in the general election. As of now, there is a huge chance to not only shock the nation but also shake up the political landscape.
During the general election, the presidential election took up most of the attention across the country; however, there were other elections being held, including mayor seats in the House of Representatives. 35 Senate seats were up for election, two of which were from Georgia. Currently, they were held by Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loffer. Both seats were challenged by Democrats Raphael Warnok, who challenged Loeffler in the Georgia special election, and Jon Ossoff, who challenged David Perdue.
In Georgia, winning a Senate election requires a candidate to get at least 50 percent of the vote or the election goes to a runoff election with the top two candidates. In both Senate elections, neither candidate was able to reach that threshold. The runoff for both seats will be on Jan. 5, 2021, with both political parties putting millions of dollars into these races because it is not only the two seats that are at stake, but also the control of the United States Senate. And with President-elect Biden going into the office, it is important for both parties to control the upper house of Congress.
Since Georgia has only recently become a battleground state after being a Republican stronghold for over two decades, most people find it quite reasonable to assume that the Republicans still have an edge in the state. However, it seems as though the Republican party is doing everything in its power to try to lose both seats.
With President Donald Trump attacking mail-in voting and claiming that the election was stolen from him, many of his loyal voters have made it a point that they will not vote in the runoff. At the beginning, many did not write it as a problem for the Republicans because Republicans believed they would eventually fall in line and vote for the Republican Senate candidates. However, with President Trump’s continued attacks on the election and with high profile Trump supporters like attorney Sidney Powell stating the election was rigged to thousands of people, it is seeming even more likely that there will be a huge block of Republicans who will not vote in the runoff.
This is extremely terrible for the Grand Old Party (GOP) because the general election showed that Georgia went to Biden by less than one percent meaning that if more Republicans do not vote in this runoff, it could make the Senate election easier for Democrats to win both seats. Also, with the confusion following the conspiracy, many Republican voters might end up not voting in the runoff just because they do not like how they are dealing with the election.
Moreover, the Republican party has been divided on how to counteract this major problem, with some opting to say that the election was fair and this runoff will not be rigged. However, another part of the party has fanned the flames about the conspiracy of the election by encouraging people to not vote in what they perceived as an unfair runoff. There are also Republicans who claim that President Trump won Georgia and the election was rigged, but also to vote in the runoff, including both Senate candidates and President Trump, which is not only confusing but also makes people less likely to vote in the election.
The GOP needs to actually have the same message where they state that the Georgia election was fair about the election if they want to win this runoff, so they minimize the number of people who believe the election was rigged and make the amount who want to vote bigger. It would also make people sure people who dislike the confusion the Republican party has said about the election are more likely to vote as well.
However, if this misinformation continues and enough Republican voters believe that their votes are invalid, then the Democrats could take the Senate, which would allow them to have a trifecta at the federal government, the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. This would ensure that for the next two years, the Democrats will control all policies that pass through Congress.
With COVID-19 and the economic downturn of 2020, it is obvious that incoming President Biden is going to need to pass legislation to actually get what he proposed during the election and help American citizens. If Biden wants to do everything that he said he would, the Democrats need to control the Senate because the Republicans would most likely either block or change the bill as much as they could. This also applies to every piece of legislation that passes through Congress for the next two years, from taxes to police reform. However, this only happens if they can win both runoff elections, which both still seem to be slightly favored to Republicans.
Though, with the antics and confusion from the Republicans, this seems like a real possibility.