Political Gridlock To Save The World
Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock has won re-election in Georgia’s runoff election after defeating Republican challenger Herschel Walker, who had previously been backed by the now disgraced former President Donald Trump. With almost all of the votes counted, Warnock secured a healthy 51.4% of the ballot, compared to 48.6% for the former NFL star turned Proud Boy.
Even before the runoff, the Georgia Senate race had already become one of the most expensive congressional races of all time, with both parties shelling out around $250M on political ads in the general election alone. This was no accident, as the stakes were high for donors on both sides.
Warnock’s victory means that Democrats will control the Senate 51–49 starting in January, cementing a hold on the chamber that they have technically controlled since early 2021, however, in practice was dicey, thanks in large part to the divisive Senators from West Virginia and Arizona.
Last month, however, Democrat John Fetterman scored a victory over Republican Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, flipping a GOP seat and giving Democrats control of the chamber with at least a 50–50 partisan split (and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris). This kept things the way they were, regardless of GA.
The victory for the Democrats in Georgia now makes the Manchin-Sinema woes a much smaller problem.
“After a hard-fought campaign — or should I say campaigns — it is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” — Warnock told the crowd in a victory speech.
Yet, Congressional gridlock still lies ahead, with the GOP taking control of the House of Representatives, though a clear majority for Senate Democrats could give the party more flexibility on passing legislation.
Democrats will additionally have outright control of Senate committees and will no longer be bound to a power-sharing agreement with the GOP.
This is where is gets interesting.