With less than a week to go before the final election of the 2020 cycle, the nation’s eyes are fixed squarely on Georgia, as its two incumbent Republican senators, Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, face tough Democratic opposition from challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively, for the runoff election on Tuesday.
How did we get this way with a state that typically votes with the GOP?
Georgia surprised the world on Nov. 3 as Georgians voted for Joe Biden for president over incumbent President Donald Trump, who lost his bid for a second term in office by fewer than 15,000 votes. Pundits obviously underestimated Biden’s strength in the Peach State.
Whether Democrats can pull off two more surprises and sweep Georgia's Senate slate is unclear. Polls are inconclusive, showing virtual dead heats in both races. Early voting started weeks ago — will it have the same impact it had in the General Election? And both parties are spending huge sums of money to win these Senate seats, which will determine which party controls the Senate for the next two years.
Now, Democrats have a legitimate chance to control two of the three branches of government. However, they must win in Georgia to do that.
Normally, our nation is consumed by Christmas and New Year festivities at this time of year, but the Senate races in Georgia have changed the normal course of things.
Republicans presently control 50 U.S. Senate seats to 48 for the Democrats, so a Republican win in either race will assure the GOP remains in control. The best Democrats can hope for is sweeping both races and relying on Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to make her mark as President of the Senate by casting deciding votes.
Retired Auburn Attorney Don Eddins is publisher of The Auburn Villager newspaper and the online publication, auburnvillager.com. Before going into law, he was state Capitol reporter for The Huntsville Times and state editor for The Columbus Ledger. In college, he was sports editor of The Auburn Plainsman. Email him your comments about the newspaper to email@example.com.