The nation waits with bated breath for the results of today’s special elections in Georgia. The last two seats in the U.S. Senate will be decided here. Democrats need to win both elections to stop the GOP from keeping its majority – but if they manage, they may walk away with a trifecta of legislative power. So what can we expect? Here’s a primer on how the process works and a roundup of recent events that may affect the outcome.
When it comes to the state’s two Senate seats, Georgia requires a simple majority – 50% of the total votes cast plus one – for a candidate to be crowned senator-elect. One seat up for grabs currently belongs to Republican David Perdue. The incumbent, however, only received 49.7% of the total vote in the 2020 election on Nov. 3, leaving him just shy of the majority he needs to be re-elected.
The other seat was recently vacated when Republican Johnny Isakson, who held the position since 2004 and won re-election in 2016, resigned for health reasons in 2019. Republican Kelly Loeffler was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to fill the slot, with a special election on Nov. 3. No one won a majority here, either, though there were five candidates to the other election’s three.
The runoffs were scheduled for Jan. 5 and will be between the top two candidates in each election. David Perdue faces Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff and Kelly Loeffler is up against Democrat Raphael Warnock.
With the Senate at 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats and Independents who might as well be Democrats, these two elections will determine the shape of the body. Will the GOP come out on top, 51-49 or 52-48, or will the Dems manage to tie it up 50-50?
Where Will the Votes Fall?
In the original elections, Perdue won 49.7% of the vote to Ossoff’s 47.9%, with Libertarian Shane Hazel taking 2.3%. If all else remains the same, we would expect Perdue to win with a smooth 52%. In the other race, Warnock took a plurality with 32.9% of the vote to Loeffler’s 25.9%. However, Doug Collins, another Republican, took 20% of the vote and Democrats Matt Lieberman and Ed Tarver got 2.8% and 0.5%, respectively. If the same voters head to the polls, we would expect Loeffler to come out on top. But can we count on the people of Georgia to deliver those exact results?
The Flies in the Ointment
Several factors could cause deviations from what we could call the “normal expected outcome.” For one, voter turnout might be radically different. Presidential elections tend to have higher turnout than others, and so there may be fewer voters in general who show up to the polls. On the other hand, pretty much anyone even remotely dialed in to American politics understands that this election will determine our legislative fate for the next two years at least. Then there’s the issue of Republicans who refused to vote for Trump. As Liberty Nation’s Tim Donner explained:
“Turnout in Georgia could realistically go either way. Republicans who refused to vote for Trump might indeed turn out for the establishment candidates David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and put the GOP over the top. But it is at least equally possible that those who voted for Trump might not show up in the same numbers as they did in November.”
Another thing that may affect voter turnout, especially among Republicans, is the fear and frustration surrounding election fraud. Consider this question: If the sheer bulk of fake ballots was enough to overpower what would have otherwise been Trump’s re-election by the largest number of votes in the history of U.S. politics, then how could my vote in Georgia possibly matter? This attitude is, of course, a self-defeating one – but it’s a question many Peach State Republicans must be asking themselves.
In more recent news, President Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, urging him to do his job and investigate the claims of electoral foul play. Naturally, the reporting of this call was twisted to fit the leftist narrative. LN’s Mark Angelides summed it up well:
“The phone call in question is now the cause du jour of spin doctors and the activist media. It has become a cudgel with which to denigrate the president and cast his requests as something nefarious rather than a search for answers.”
Raffensperger told Good Morning America that his office would not be launching an investigation, as he would consider it a conflict of interest, but that the president may be facing criminal charges courtesy of the Fulton County district attorney. Alleging the phone call counts as election fraud, lawmakers of the Democratic Party are talking about impeaching Trump again – even though he may be out of office anyway in just a couple of weeks.
Will any of these circumstances sway the vote? We’ll know soon enough!
What’s at Stake
How high are the stakes in this competition? If the Democrats win both seats, any party-line votes – which are considerably more common in these increasingly partisan days – would result in a tie that could be broken by Kamala Harris, and it’s a safe bet which side she will fall on 100% of the time. So the Democrats may get to pass just about whatever they want out of the House, clear it through the Senate if all their teammates and the VP play ball, then see it signed by the Democrat president, Joe Biden.
All the legislative terrors coming out of the House blocked by the Senate and President Trump would almost certainly come to life. Then throw in Biden’s globalist and anti-Second Amendment tendencies and expect even the most radical of measures to pass unless some Senate Democrat decides liberty and the preservation of the Republic are more important than partisan politics.
It’s easy to imagine a government in which every grand scheme dreamed up by the most out-of-touch progressive quickly becomes the law of the land, no matter how insane. But it can’t be done without the Senate. While Congress can override a presidential veto, there’s no advancing a bill to the president’s desk to be signed into law if the Senate shoots it down.
Will Georgia keep the Dems from running roughshod over our liberties in the coming years, or will they hand over nigh unfettered control to the radical left? Stay tuned to Liberty Nation for live updates as the results come in to find out!
Read more from James Fite.