It’s been over two weeks since election day and our news cycles continue to be dominated by declarations that the election is over and Joe Biden is “President-elect,” accusations that widespread voter fraud and corruption occurred, or quieter voices with positions which lie somewhere in-between. Unfortunately, while our collective attention remains focused on a past election, we are in danger of missing an upcoming election which has the potential to redefine American politics entirely.
Currently, control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance. After November 3rd, Democrats hold 48 seats and Republicans hold 50. Under a 1960s Georgia law, “candidates must receive a majority of the vote to win an election.” If neither candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, “the top two vote-getters then face off again in a runoff election to determine the winner.” Due to this law, neither of Georgia’s Senate races have been decided, meaning Georgia will hold two runoff elections on January 5th. On this day, Georgia will decide whether Republican incumbents Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler will survive challenges from Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. If both Sen. Perdue and Sen. Loeffler fail to retain their seats, the Senate will be split 50 seats to 50, handing ultimate power to presumptive Vice President Kamala Harris with the tie-breaking vote.
Now, if the outcome of January 5th replicates the results we saw on November 3rd, both Sen. Perdue and Sen. Loeffler would expect to retain their positions. Perdue beat Ossoff by over 88,000 votes (1.8%), missing the required 50% majority by just 0.3%. In the second Special Election, Raphael Warnock did receive the most ballots, with 1,617,046 votes (32.9%). However, two Republicans ran against him, with incumbent Loeffler receiving 1,273,215 votes (25.9%) and Doug Collins receiving 980,459 votes (20%). With Warnock and Loeffler advancing to the runoff, if Loeffler receives Collins’ support, she would beat Warnock by over 636,000 votes (13%).
However, it would be naïve and foolish to assume anything about any election, let alone one which could be the difference between relative legislative gridlock and at least two years of unavoidable Democratic Party dominance. One sign that this race has drawn focus on a national level is the “crazytown” amount of funding which has flooded into the state of Georgia, with “more than $135 million in TV ads” being booked as we approach January 5th.
Warnock has raised around $40 million since November 3rd, with Ossoff not far behind. Republicans announced a haul of $32 million within the first week after Election Day. Estimates suggest that Republicans have outspent Democrats by around $28 million when it comes to advertising.
Another symptom of the nationalization of statewide elections is the open partisanship and support from residents of other states, with Californians “volunteering to temporarily move to the Peach State to help get out the vote for Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock.”
It is also likely that Stacey Abrams — the famous imaginary winner of Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race — will also continue as the Democratic Party’s hero and play some part in the upcoming runoff elections.
UPDATE: We have raised $6 million (!) so far to help jumpstart the Jan 5 Senate runoff elections. Help keep up the momentum for @ReverendWarnock and @ossoff by donating at https://t.co/bqQFTB4mRL! #gapol https://t.co/pgTJyHndfR
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 9, 2020
Abrams’ “Fair Fight” organization is being celebrated for their supposed “voter turnout” success, with around 900,000 more people voting in 2020 compared to 2016. In reality, all we know is that “Biden won Georgia because he did really well in the Atlanta area,” and the assumption that it was the so-called “black vote” which decided the result is far from certain. However, the fact that Georgia voted for a Democrat in a presidential race for the first time since 1992 should stand as a warning sign for Republicans, with Abrams and others now focused on driving Georgia to elect a Democrat to the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2005.
It is, of course, important for conservatives to remain focused on the presidential election while any legitimate hope of overturning the result in favor of Donald Trump remains. However, it’s also crucial we don’t forget that American political power rests on far more than the occupant of the White House. If we’re not careful, the Right could lazily view Perdue and Loeffler’s November 3rd tallies as an insurmountable obstacle for the Democrats. Such complacency could be disastrous, and we simply cannot ignore the runoff elections in Georgia and risk handing Democrats the ability to reshape fundamental political institutions and norms for generations to come.
All eyes on Georgia, folks.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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