Tuesday, January 05, 2021
Senate elections in Georgia
Trump fights above all for himself
Everyone in the US is looking to Georgia this Tuesday. There the question will be decided who will have the majority in the Washington Senate in the future. If the Democrats win both open positions, Biden would have a better chance of implementing large projects. For Trump there is more to it.
If the people of Georgia elect their two senators for Washington this Tuesday, that will be the final chord of the November 3rd election. The outcome will also determine how the election victory of Democrat Joe Biden over incumbent Donald Trump is to be assessed. If the two democratic candidates win, the Biden victory from two months ago shines a little friendlier. This would also give the Democrats a majority in the Washington Senate and would be able to implement large-scale projects on their own.
At the end of the election campaign, both parties once again sent their strongest draft horses into the arena: Biden and Trump. Biden said in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, the state may decide not just the future of the country in the next four years, but the future of the “next generation”. He was referring to his reform plans, including in social and environmental policy. The elections on Tuesday could mean a new beginning “for Georgia and for America”, stressed Biden.
Trump appealed to his supporters in the city of Dalton that the Senate by-elections might be their “last chance to save the America we love”. The elected president called out to his fans: “Our country depends on you.” The Republicans are trying to portray the Democrats as the “radical left,” which may seem far-fetched by European standards, but it gets caught up in many Republicans. The big topic is “We against them”, content is secondary. Trump called Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock “extremists who would destroy everything that the patriots in Georgia hold dear.” In his 83-minute speech, he repeated his known and unproven election fraud allegations. “You won’t conquer the White House, we’ll fight like the devil.”
How much power does Trump retain?
That was hardly surprising, because for Trump it is about more than the majority in the Senate. His own future is at stake. Nobody still believes that they can reverse their November election defeat. But it’s also about how much power he has over the Republican Party. So far, this has been fed by its immense popularity at the grassroots level. This has consequences for elections: if Trump stands behind a candidate, his chances of victory increase – those who fall from grace, on the other hand, their prospects become bleak. Should the Trump-backed candidates in Georgia lose now, that could damage this nimbus. It could bolster critical Republicans who still fear Trump’s wrath.
In the by-elections, the Democrats Warnock and Ossoff want to remove their seats from the former Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The runoff election had become necessary because none of the state’s Senate candidates had won more than 50 percent of the November 3rd congressional elections held alongside the presidential election. This requires runoff elections under Georgia’s electoral laws.
As things stand, the Republicans have at least 50 seats in the new Senate and the Democrats at least 48 seats. If the Democrats win both seats in Georgia, there would be a stalemate. However, this would be repealed by the future Vice President Kamala Harris, who by virtue of her office will also be President of the Senate. In this role, your vote can make the difference.
When will there be results?
The open question is when results can be expected. Some fear that the counting phase will last for days, as it can only be started after the polling stations have closed. Others hope for a quick decision, because the ballot papers can be prepared for the count. For example, the identity of the voters can already be checked, which can be time-consuming.
There is little reliable information about who might be the favorite in the race for the Senate post. Often times in the past Republicans did better in runoff elections. This is due, for example, to the fact that Democratic voters, especially in Georgia, often African-American, rarely have a polling station near them or they don’t have an Internet connection to get information.
What speaks for the Democrats is that around 20,000 young people have come of age in the past two months and most of them vote democratically. That could actually make the difference – Biden won the presidential election by just under 12,000 votes. The Georgia Democrats are also encouraged by the efficient electoral mobilization of their chairman, Stacey Abrams. Republicans could also harm their own election fraud allegations. Because why should you vote if the result is (supposedly) faked anyway? Should that actually lead to a drop in voter turnout, it could fall back on Trump and damage him further. But he will probably not give up for a long time.