For the past 15 years, Georgia democrats have not had a seat in the Senate. The rightward shift that the state has seen in recent years seems to be changing, however, as grassroots organizations and activists like Stacey Abrams push back by garnering the support and voting power of Georgia’s black residents.
Because neither of the races between the Democratic and GOP contenders for the Senate exceeded 50% of the vote, both are heading into a runoff on January 5th. One of the Democratic contenders, Jon Ossoff trailed in his race against his GOP opponent, while the other, Raphael Warnock, lead in his. Should both Democratic candidates win their races in the coming January, for the first time since 2014, the Democrats will have the upper hand in the Senate, with Kamala Harris’s seat breaking the 50-50 split. However, if only one candidate wins (or neither), the GOP will retain their maintain their control of the Senate.
The party that wins the upper hand will influence the implementation of Joe Biden’s presidency over the course of the next two years, making the outcome of this runoff so critical. And according to Time, “History has shown runoffs never attract the same intensity as the first round of voting”. In the 2008 election, Obama, despite winning the election, lost Georgia, as the dropoff from the initial Democratic turnout was 63%, 22% higher than that of Republicans. Voter turnout this year is incredibly important, and it’s also vital that the young people (around 23k) that were not yet old enough to vote in this year’s election, but will meet the age requirement for the runoff, register to vote by December 7th in order to cast their vote in January 2021.
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