Georgia election to determine U.S. Senate majority control

More than three million Georgians voted early in the dual Senate runoffs which will determine majority control of the chamber
Georgia election to determine U.S. Senate majority control
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 2:58 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Control of the U.S. Senate all comes down to the Peach State as this intense campaign season comes to a close, heavy-hitters from both sides of the aisle rallied in Georgia to ask voters for their support.

Record early voting in the runoffs means the pressure is on for the G.O.P. to turn out their voters at the polls this Tuesday.

“We have never seen anything like this in American history,” said Charles Bullock, a political science professor at University of Georgia.

With the high-stakes of these races, the final moments of the campaign drew President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Ted Cruz to campaign in Georgia.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-president-elect Kamala Harris also made a closing pitch to Democratic voters.

“When you’re talking about an election that everybody expects is going to be this close then they’re probably talking about just mobilizing just thousands of people and that might make the difference,” said Bullock.

Polls show the race between Republican Senator David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff within the margin of error. Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock are neck-and-neck.

Professor Bullock predicted only two possible outcomes: either both seats stay red, or both seats flip blue. “What most voters do now is they vote their party lines,” he said, “we don’t have a whole lot of split-ticket voting.”

In Washington, Democrats hold a slim majority in the U.S. House, so an incoming Biden administration would find it much easier to get its agenda through if the party wins both Senate races in Georgia.

The majority also steers committee assignments and agendas for hearings. But, even with the majority, Democrats wouldn’t be able to simply ram its agenda through. Most bills would still require buy-in from at least 10 Republicans.

“It’s going to be better for the Democrats, better for the Biden administration to have control of the Senate, but it wouldn’t be easy sledding,” said Bullock.

Regardless of what happens in Georgia Tuesday night, both the House and Senate will be split very close to 50-50, and lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, said that will likely forces both parties to work together.

Polls close in Georgia at seven p.m. Tuesday night. Those in line to vote by that time will be able to cast their ballots.

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