IMPACT OF GEORGIA U.S. SENATE SEAT RUNOFF ELECTIONS.

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WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT. Special to WPCNR from Dr. Steven White, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Syracuse Univeristy. November 6, 2020:

Editor’s Note: Dr. Steven White, an assistant professor of political science at Syracuse University who has studied Southern politics extensively. Dr. White specializes in American politics, American political development, race and politics.

Dr. Stephen White

Dr. White notes the impact of this possibility is crucial for many reasons, most notably Vice President Biden’s ability to fill a cabinet (should he win) with progressive choices who would not get confirmation with a Republican controlled Senate.

“If Democrats win the two Senate races in Georgia, their odds of being able to pass the legislation in their platform goes up dramatically.

That said, even then this would still be constrained by the pivotal votes of more conservative Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin.

If Democrats lose, though, their options are a lot more limited.

Not only would they need the support of more moderate Republican Senators like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, they would also have to deal with agenda control by the Republican majority.

Senator Mitch McConnell might simply try to keep bills from coming to a floor vote, even if there might very well be a bipartisan majority coalition in favor of them. 

This also speaks to remarkable changes in the political environment of Georgia. Even in her loss to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton only lost Georgia by about 5 points (similar to Obama’s 2008 loss margin).

In the 2018 gubernatorial election, Stacey Abrams came within about a point and a half of defeating her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp.

If Biden ends up ahead—and if the state elects one and possibly two Democratic Senators—it would be an astonishing shift that brings to fruition the state’s gradual transition from being a red state to a purple one.”

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