Run-off election for the Georgia senate is still important

Once control of the US Senate had been decided in favor of Democrats with the win by Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada that gave them a 50-49 edge, interest in the Georgia run-off election between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and the batty Republican Herschel Walker dropped precipitously. If the Georgia race were still pivotal to control of the Senate, we would have had wall-to-wall coverage. Instead, now one has to seek out news about it.

But we should not think that this makes the race inconsequential. As this article explains, in practical terms there is a big difference between a 51-49 Democratic majority and a 50-50 tied body in which the vice-president breaks the tie in favor of the Democrats.

A 51-49 Senate would give Democrats an outright majority, meaning that [majority leader Chuck] Schumer wouldn’t have to negotiate a power-sharing agreement with Republican leader Mitch McConnell. The two parties had to do that two years ago and also in 2001, the last time the Senate was evenly split.

In early 2021, confirmations of new President Joe Biden’s nominees were stalled for several weeks while Schumer and McConnell worked out an agreement on how to split committees and move legislation on the Senate floor. Using the little leverage he had, McConnell threatened not to finalize a deal until Democrats promised that they wouldn’t try to kill the legislative filibuster that forces a 60-vote threshold.

Committees are now evenly split between the two parties due to the 50-50 power-sharing deal. This often creates extra steps when a committee vote is tied, forcing Democrats to hold votes on the Senate floor to move ahead with bills or nominees.

Should they win an outright 51-seat majority, Democrats would likely hold an extra seat on every committee, making it much easier to move nominees or legislation on party-line votes.

The extra seat would also give Democrats the ability to pass bills while losing one vote within their caucus — a luxury they haven’t had over the last two years. Manchin, a moderate from conservative West Virginia, often used the narrow margin to his advantage, forcing Democrats to bend to his will on several pieces of legislation.

With Republicans taking charge of the House majority next year, Democrats won’t have much of a chance to pass major legislation. So one of Schumer’s main priorities will be confirming judges nominated by Biden in the last two years of his term.

A rules change under former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a decade ago allowed the Senate to pass judges with only a simple majority, or 51 votes. Winning Warnock’s seat would make that process easier and more expedient.

I was curious if Trump would be campaigning for Walker. After all, Trump was the one who endorsed and pushed for him despite the misgivings of the Republican party establishment that Walker would be a.weak candidate. So it would be natural for Trump to campaign vigorously for him to prove the naysayers wrong. But so far he has not had any rallies. It turns out that there is a debate within the party as to whether Trump campaigning for Walker will help or hurt Walker.

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly furious that top Republicans are trying to dissuade him from travelling to Georgia to campaign for the party’s candidate in the Senate runoff election next month, Rolling Stone reported.

Two sources familiar with the matter told the publication that leading GOP figures and Trump allies had implored the former president not to hold a rally in the state on the eve of the December 6 runoff between Republican candidate Herschel Walker, who Trump endorsed, and Raphael Warnock, his Democratic opposition.

According to the sources, the former president has also said he will react poorly if the party invites Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor widely seen as Trump’s main challenger for the 2024 GOP nomination, to campaign in the runoffs.

Trump must be annoyed that Barack Obama is being seen as an asset to the Warnock campaign and is going to hold a rally for him on December 1st while clearly the Republican party sees him as a liability.

You would think that the decision whether to invite Trump would be Walker’s but he seems to be out of the decision-making loop and indeed seems to be more interested in werewolves and vampires, saying that he had just learned from some film that a werewolf can kill a vampire. It is incredible that he is still a viable candidate.

There are only two weeks to go until the run-off on December 6th.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Manchin, a moderate …

    Perfect illustration of meaninglessness of political labels these days.

  2. KG says

    he [Walker] had just learned from some film that a werewolf can kill a vampire. It is incredible that he is still a viable candidate.

    What a numpty! Everyone knows it’s the other way round! It’s zombies that can kill vampires, and of course werewolves can kill zombies -- it’s like scissors-paper-stone.

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