By Elpidio R. Estioko
After almost 20 years of Republican dominance in the state of Georgia, the January 5 run-off election for two Senate seats shifted the balance of power to the Democrats with Rev. Raphael Warnock winning the election over incumbent GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler and John Ossoff assured of winning over incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue with only one percent of the votes remaining from Democratic-leaning areas.
According to Times estimates, “the Democrats appear to have won both Senate runoffs in Georgia, giving them control of the Senate. The Rev. Warnock has beaten Sen. Loeffler by about 2 percentage points. As to the other seat, most news organizations have not yet called the race between Ossoff and Perdue, but Ossoff leads about 16,000 votes and the remaining votes come from Democratic-leaning areas.”
Nate Cohn of The Times, who analyzes election returns, said he believed “Ossof would likely end up with a lead of more than 0.5 percentage points – large enough to avoid a recount.” Also, David Wassermann of the Cook Political Report wrote that he considered both races to be over. Well, yes, it is over!
Okay, what then are the implications of these victories?
First, the result of the Georgia election is a complete repudiation of US President Donald Trump’s attempt to thwart the election in his favor, and who spent long hours and huge amount of money in the last hour campaigning for the Republican candidates and himself. It was his last-ditch attempt to support his claim that he won in the election, which, according to him, was stolen from him since said election was “rigged” and full of voter fraud. Maggie Haberman of the Times pointed out that the Republican losses came despite Trump’s campaigning in the state. “This is the first indication of the damage he’s done own level of influence in the party in the last two months,” Haberman said.
Second, President-Elect former Vice President Joe Biden will have great chances of success in passing his executive priority agendas with both the Senate and the House of Representatives with Democrats dominating the two chambers. With Warnock and Ossoff’s win, it will give a 50-50 number in the Senate with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris breaking the tie as presiding officer. New York Timessaid: “The Democratic Party’s 2020 victory just got a lot bigger. And Joe Biden’s chances of signing ambitious legislation – to fight climate change, reduce economic and slow the corona virus pandemic – got a lot bigger, too!” Biden will be able to pass budget bills and confirm judges so long as Democrats remain united. GOP Mitch McConnell will no longer be Senate majority leader, with the power to decide which bills come up for a vote. Democrat Chuck Schumer will be in charge, for the first time.
Third, this is an indication of Democrats’ dominance that will greatly affect Trump’s attempt to discredit the result of the electoral votes putting huge pressure on Vice President Michael R. Pence (presiding officer during the joint session of the Electoral College) not to recognize the electoral votes results. This will also show that he failed in pressuring the Republican governor and the Republican Secretary of State to “look for votes” for him to tilt the election. Despite all the pressures from Trump, observers say Vice President Pence will follow what the Constitution states that he will only open/preside over the joint meeting session and declare the verdict. It was reported that about 14 GOP senators will object on the results of the electoral votes outcome, which may not even affect the result of the election with Biden and Harris, president-elect and vice president-elect, respectively. The objections may delay the proceedings, but it will not impact the election results.
So, there is great pressure on Vice President Pence, whether he will heed the advice of President Trump or follow the provisions of the Constitution.
Fourth, the result of the Georgia election will slowly impact on other remaining Republicans who are conspiring with Trump to discredit the election with the likes of former presidential candidates and former Governor Chris Christie, Former Ohio Governor John Kasich and Sen. Mitt Romney who already recognized the election results with Joe Biden as the president-elect and Kamala Harris the vice president-elect. Will the rest of the principled Republicans follow the steps taken by Christie, Kasich and Romney? Will they go against Trump’s will and uphold the ideals of the GOP built centuries ago?
Of course, Georgia has recorded a stunning development that they are not dictated by any pressure, whether coming from the president or elsewhere, to exercise their right of suffrage and assert their belief of what is right and what is wrong! They are the ones who know the real score in their state.
This is also a victory for the American people that solidifies the age-old concept that democracy is alive in the Untied States of America!
Georgians, congratulations! You deserve the best accolade in the whole universe!
ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author @ [email protected]