The Implications of a Democratic Controlled Senate: Georgia Runoffs

Maeve Healy

Forty-eight Democratic leaning senators, fifty Republican senators, and the rest of America wait in suspense as a historic and unprecedented double senate runoff takes place. 

Reverend Raphael Warnock (D) faces off against incumbent appointed Senator Kelly Loeffler (R) in the fight for the vacancy of former Senator Johnny Isakson (R), while Jon Ossoff (D) is up against incumbent David Perdue (R) in the regularly scheduled election. 

There are two outcomes to these Senate elections. The first is simple: Republicans remain in control of the house, with either a 51 or 52 majority. With this outcome, it’s unlikely that much will change in Washington: there will be no revolutions, no mass influx of Democratic policies, no progressive change. The second situation is a bit more complicated. If Ossoff and Warnock were to both take control of Georgia’s senate seats, the senate would be split evenly between parties. The President of the Senate only votes on ties, and because Vice President- Elect Kamala Harris will take over as President of the Senate in 2021, the senate automatically will skew left. 

According to FiveThirtyEight, Democrats are up right now, and both Ossoff and Warnock have been favored to win their respective elections for months. However, after the chaos of the four days following the November 3rd Presidential election, most Americans know exactly which polls to trust: none of them. These elections are truly toss ups. 

Now comes the big question: does Joe Biden truly want a Ddemocrat-ic controlled senate? Quite honestly, it is the question nobody knows the answer to. 

Joe Biden has been a staunch moderate Democrat throughout his years in public service. He’s prided himself on working across the aisle with lawmakers in the GOP, and many progressive Democrats see that as a disservice to their policies.

With a Democratic controlled Senate and House, a lot of pressure will be put on the President Elect. Progressive Democrats – particularly proponents of the Green New Deal and socialism – will push Biden to enact progressive policies. These policies will make many Republicans even more uncomfortable than they already are, especially following the reign of political terror and polarity that was the Trump administration. Biden is already facing numerous amounts of criticism for his cabinet picks, and the criticism and pressure will only build with Democratic victories. 

While a Democratic controlled senate could push Joe Biden left, it could also be a big win for him. Biden illustrated in his healthcare plan that he intends to protect and build upon Obamacare, which has been under constant scrutiny from the GOP over the past ten years. With a Democratic backed Senate and House, Biden will be able to build on Obamacare in a way Democrats have not been able to do since Obama himself was in office. 

It’s truly impossible to know what will happen in the Georgia runoff elections, but if a state with a twenty-eight year red run just turned blue, anything is possible. 

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