Two U.S. Senate remote elections were held in Georgia on Tuesday, which will jointly determine which party controls the legislature for the next two years.
Early Wednesday, the Associated Press declared Democrat Raphael Warnock the winner of one of the races against appointed Republican senator Kelly Loeffler. The battle will send Washington to complete the remaining term of Johnny Isakson’s retired Senate. Republican David Perdue, who is aiming for the second race, and Democrat Jon Ossoff’s other race was too early to make the phone call.
Georgia has become a political focal point since the November 3 general election, when none of the candidates in the state’s two Senate races won more than 50 percent of the vote. This forced both races to run on January 5th.
Here’s a look at the tournaments:
WHY THE AP IS DECLARING THE WINNER IN A DECLARATION
Warnock defeated Loeffler after an analysis of the outstanding votes showed that Loeffler could in no way catch up with him with the remaining votes to be counted under the Republican tendency.
Warnock drew about 54,180 votes against Loeffler at 11 a.m. Wednesday, which is likely to increase as more votes appear in the tables.
Almost all of the votes that had to be counted nationwide were postal and early personal votes. Most of these are in democracy-minded counties.
Warnock won 68% of the postal ballots, according to an AP analysis conducted early Wednesday. Most of the early personal votes to be counted were in DeKalb County; in the county, this voting method favored Warnock by about 70 percentage points.
What about the other race?
The Senate race between Perdue and Ossoff was too early to call on Wednesday morning.
At 11:00 a.m., Ossoff led by 17,000 votes out of nearly 4.4 million counted, down less than 0.4 percentage points.
There are still a few postal ballots and personal early votes that should have been counted across the country, most of which are located in democratically inclined counties.
Under Georgian law, a candidate in parentheses may request a recount if the election margin is less than or equal to 0.5 percentage points.
WHAT IT IS
The outcome of the two competitions will help determine the country’s political trajectory over the next two years. If Democrats win both, 50-50 seats in the Senate will be shared with Republicans, with elected Vice President Kamala Harris ready to cast a tie.
This would allow President-elect Joe Biden to pursue an agenda that includes liberal priorities such as raising the minimum wage, approving economic contribution incentives to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, and expanding health care.
But Republicans need to include only one seat for the thin 51-49 majority that could serve as a conservative defensive wall to limit Biden’s ambitions.
The fact that Georgia determines which of these two duel visions can become a reality speaks volumes about its recent emergence as a swinging state. Georgia has been a Republican citadel for decades, much like much of the south. These two choices test how much the state has changed.
The government of Georgia is dominated by the GOP. Warnockig, a Democratic former Georgian governor Zell Miller, has not won a U.S. Senate race in the state since. While Biden won by barely 12,000 votes in November, no Democratic presidential candidate has since borne the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.
But it has slowly evolved into a battlefield – a change driven in part by demographic shifts, especially in the economically vibrant metropolitan area of Atlanta.
As older, white, Republican-minded voters die, they will be replaced by younger and more racially diverse people, many of whom have moved to the Atlanta area from other states – and taken their politics with them.
Overall, demographic trends show that state voters are younger and more diverse from year to year. Like other subway areas, the suburbs of Atlanta have moved away from Republicans. In 2016, Hillary Clinton reversed Cobb and Gwinnett counties. Four years later, election maps showed a blue sea in more than half a dozen counties surrounding Atlanta.
In 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams encouraged black voters to be the country’s first African-American woman to lead a state.