In addition to the presidential election on November 3rd, 2020, thirty-five Senate seats were also up for reelection. Entering the election, Republicans held fifty-three seats and Democrats held forty-five, as well as two independents who often vote with Democrats. It has so far been confirmed that Democrats flipped two seats while Republicans flipped one seat.
Both senate races in Georgia advanced to January 5th, 2021 runoff elections, as none of the candidates in the regular election or the special election reached the fifty percent threshold required to secure their victory. In order to gain a majority in the Senate, the Democrats would need to win both Georgia Senate races. This would divide the Senate fifty-fifty, with vice president-elect Kamala Harris being the tie-breaking vote. On the other hand, Republicans only need one seat to hold their majority in the chamber. This would limit president-elect Joe Biden’s ability to confirm judicial nominees or pass legislation.
High levels of mail-in voting is expected, as well as unprecedented spending on advertising. Democrats hope to continue on with high voter turnout. Former candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams has been credited with helping to register over 800,000 new voters. Georgia voted Democrat for the first time since 1992. However, Republicans doubt that will be enough. Their voters turned out in high numbers this year, only losing the presidential race by an extremely small margin in Georgia. It is expected Republican voters will turn out for this election as well.
There is a lot at stake for both parties, and it is crazy to think that one state could ultimately determine which party has the majority rule in the Senate.
Johanna Murphy ‘23 Staff Writer