Thursday, December 24, 2020

Vox, Washington Post, and CBS News explain the importance of the Senate runoff elections in Georgia

I wrote a comedic take on Meyers, Colbert, and Noah take closer looks at Trump intervening in Georgia's elections, so it's time for a serious examination of the Senate runoff elections in Georgia next month. Fortunately, Vox provided me one this morning with Why Biden's presidency hinges on one last election.

The state of Georgia will decide how much Joe Biden can actually get done.
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The US 2020 election isn't completely over. That’s because, even though we know Joe Biden will be president, we still don’t know if he’ll have a friendly Congress to work with. Congress’s lower chamber, the House of Representatives, is under Democratic control. But control of the upper chamber, the Senate, is still up in the air, because of two remaining Senate races — and they’re both in the state of Georgia.

The results of those “runoff” elections will determine whether Biden’s policy agenda will be ambitious or compromised. But runoff elections are actually really rare in the US. And the story of why Georgia uses them in the first place is crucial to understanding the state that will now determine the next several years of American politics.
For more about the history of southern states such as Georgia having runoff elections, read Vox's Why Georgia has runoff elections, which has the subtitle "Racist lawmakers built Georgia’s election system — and it could affect the balance of the Senate." Sigh. As William Faulkner famously wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

Follow over the jump to move from the history of Georgia using runoff elections to see how the current pair of runoff elections in the Peach State are playing out.

One of the clips Vox included described Georgia as the center of the political universe. The Washington Post used that phrase in Georgia takes focus of the political universe as runoff looms.

Control of the Senate rests in the hands of Georgia voters in the Jan. 5 runoff election that will determine two seats. Democrats are optimistic about their chances following November’s election, which flipped Georgia blue for Joe Biden. Republicans have traditionally done well in runoffs, but President Trump’s false election claims have left many of his supporters wary about voting in January.
Instead of the view from 40,000 feet that Vox provided, the Washington Post looked at the contests at ground level. I think my readers and I need to see both perspectives.

The political scientist interviewed by the Washington Post pointed out that the challenge the Democrats have is retaining their vote share from the general election to the runoff. So far, Democrats in general and Georgia's African-American voters have been responding positively, as CBS News reported Over 1 million early ballots already cast in Georgia Senate runoffs on Monday.

Early voting is underway in Georgia for two highly contested Senate runoffs, which will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Democrat Raphael Warnock is facing off against Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, and Democrat John Ossoff is challenging GOP incumbent David Perdue. Reporter Emma Hurt from NPR station WABE in Atlanta joins CBSN with more on the campaigns.
Early voting in Georgia has continued to set records, as Fox News (yeah, I know) reported Turnout in Georgia Senate runoff elections surges past 2M votes.
The latest early voting numbers released Thursday morning by state officials indicate that more than a quarter (26.7%) of all registered voters in Georgia have already cast a ballot in the two contests.
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More than 1.3 million Georgians have cast a ballot through early in-person voting at polling stations that have been open for a week and a half, with more than 720,000 casting an absentee ballot.

With less than two weeks to go until the runoff elections, the high number of Georgians who have already voted in two Senate runoffs comes close to rivaling the early turnout at this point in the November general election. A record 4.9 million voters in the state cast ballots in the general election.
Wow! Georgia, keep up the good work!

That's it for the serious news on this Christmas Eve. Stay tuned for this year's edition of Christmas with Broken Peach and Tipsy Bartender. Merry Christmas!

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