All Eyes On Georgia
By Claire Hardwick
With what seemed like a far off election after November 3rd, today is the day that will determine the fate of the US Senate. After weeks of campaigning and Republicans and Democrats urging voters to get out and vote, tonight, we may know the projected winner for the two Senate seats.
President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden both traveled to Georgia last night in a last minute effort to help their party’s efforts. While Senator Perdue is quarantining and could not be able to attend the rally, Senator Loeffler did. Loeffler promised the crowd that if she wins tomorrow, she will be part of the objectors to the presidential election results. During the rally, Trump hinted to his supporters that more evidence of voter fraud would be revealed in the next few weeks, and that he most likely wouldn’t be leaving the White House.
Biden urged his voters to vote for the Democrats so they could start to rebuild the economy and administer vaccines to bring the country out of the coronavirus pandemic.
Why this election matters: President Trump has brought his claims of election fraud front and center to the Senate runoff. While continuously telling his supporters the election was rigged against him, many Republicans no longer trust the system, and political experts are worried it will cause a low voter turnout from the party. Furthermore, President Trump’s leaked phone call with Secretary of State Raffensperger cam at an inopportune time for undecided voters. In the call, Trump is pleading with Raffesnperger to find more votes to help him win the state. All the while, Trump has been on a campaign to smear Raffensperger, and is calling for a candidate to primary him next election cycle.
What to expect: If Loeffler and Perdue win, the Republicans who are claiming widespread voter fraud will then have to accept the election results as is, and while doing so, accept President-elect Joe Biden’s election results. As a growing number of Republican senators plan to object to the electoral college results, this will put their political argument in a difficult situation. The Republicans want to majority, but if they keep it, they will have to choose between their two senators or President Trump.
If Loeffler and Perdue lose, this will just add fuel to the fire that the election was stolen from President Trump. With the pressure from Trump supporters and Trump himself growing, Capitol Hill will be in a precarious position.
Furthermore, if Loeffler and Perdue lose, this will show Trump’s diminishing power over the party and its voters. While Trump’s base will always be loyal and vocal, the GOP needs to win the undecided and independent voters in order to win elections on state, local, and federal levels. As senators and House representatives tie their fate to Trump, it will be uncertain how this impacts the House and Senate majority in the next election cycle.