Today’s the day — and the word of the day is “majority.”
The Georgia Senate runoff is underway, and both parties have dealt massive amounts of cash, energy, and sweat, pushing their candidates closer to the mountaintop.
While the two parties couldn’t be less agreeable, they share one big thing: There’s a lot at stake.
The State of the U.S. Senate
With the Nevada Senate race going blue, Democrats secured the 50-50 split that gave their party the deciding vote but not a true majority. And the Democrats understand just how important nailing down a majority is to secure the fate of their legislative achievements over the next two years.
The first two years of Joe Biden’s Presidency proved just how difficult it is to navigate a split Senate. They faced plenty of gridlocks and were stymied whenever a single caucus member opposed the legislation.
Senator Joe Manchin and Kirstin Sinema and their stubbornness to join the Dems in passing major infrastructure legislation. By securing the 51-49 majority, the influence of Sinema and Manchin would greatly decrease, giving Democrats a greater chance for a more unified front to push their agenda through.
How the Georgia Senate Runoff Influences Committees
The main advantage of a Democratic win comes in how committees are structured.
Currently, with the 50-50 split, committee memberships are equal between Democrats and Republicans. The Senate committees decide on everything — from judicial appointments to military, agricultural, and healthcare legislation.
When a committee vote is tied, this blocks the legislation from reaching the Senate floor. Therefore, if the Democrats take an additional seat, they earn a majority in Senate committees. A Warnock win tilts the committee balance in favor of the Democrats, making it likelier for more progressive legislation to make it to a vote.
On the other hand, Republicans are trying to jam up Democrats and put greater pressure on them two years down the line. When looking at the 2024 Senate races, the Democrats need to defend 23 total seats. Meanwhile, Republicans need only to defend 10.
Clearly, every seat counts, and losing Georgia would set the Democrats back further.
Early Voting Numbers
There’s already been a huge surge in early voting. Over 1.8 million Georgians have cast their ballot early, indicating that there is going to be a record turnout.
Polls close at 7 PM. While the results may take until the next day to finalize — the winner will likely be announced within a few hours after closure.