Last night, a runoff election was held in Georgia between Senate incumbent Raphael Warnock and football hero Herschel Walker.
While this election wouldn’t decide the majority for the Senate, it held large consequences for both parties.
After weeks of campaigning and wild twists and turns, the voters of Georgia have spoken and Warnock won, while the dust hasn’t settled yet, people might be wondering what impact this will have on the Senate.
In this article, we’ll look at some of those impacts as this new Senate goes into session next year. So, let’s get into it!
In my last article, I went into more detail about this election, who the candidates were, and some of the antics that came about during the campaign. It was a wild campaign, to say the least.
Thankfully, this particular election seems like it’s going to be pretty straightforward. Last night, on December 6th, media outlets projected Raphael Warnock to be the winner.
What is an election projection?
As a quick side note, the media, whether it’s the Associated Press or CNN, does not decide who “wins” an election.
The voters decide with their votes and after votes are tabulated, officials in those counties will certify the results then there’s a statewide tabulation and subsequent certification and then a winner is officially declared.
Now, with that said, on election night, outlets will have hundreds if not thousands of reporters out across the country or in this case, across Georgia to get as accurate of a report of votes cast and the count.
Through a series of exit polls, surveys, and good old-fashioned reporting, they make a “call” based on those results.
Personally, I’m a fan of the AP’s simple way of explaining it; when the losing candidate no longer has a path to victory, a projection is made.
In other words, they look at the total number of votes counted and look at the percentage of votes left, and the history of the counties where votes are being counted.
That is the indicator that one candidate over another is likely to win and that’s what happened here, Raphael Warnock is the projected winner.
Votes are still being counted but from a numbers perspective, no number of Walker votes at this point will result in him overtaking Warnock’s lead and therefore his losing this race.
What does a Warnock win mean?
With Warnock’s win in Georgia, the Democrats will have a one-seat majority in the Senate but what good does that do? Let’s break it down.
- Senate control
- Committee control
- No “procedural hurdles”
- No power-sharing
- No more “One Senator power”
- Confirmation of Judges
With control firmly with the Democrats, there will be more room for them to conduct business as they see fit. There will be a bit of “breathing room” when it comes to passing bills that favor the Democratic agenda and hopefully, us as their constituency.
The party in power has control of committee assignments and usually has considerable sway with regard to how that committee will preside over the issues presented to it.
No “procedural hurdles” or power-sharing
When the Democrats won control of the Senate in 2020, majority leader Chuck Schumer made an agreement to share power with minority leader Mitch McConnell.
Without bogging you down with details, this had to happen to assure that work could be done. Otherwise, McConnell would have bogged down any legislation that needed attention.
But now with the extra seat provided by Warnock, this agreement is no longer needed. The Democrats should have the votes to pass whatever they want. Within reason of course.
No more “one senator power”
If you’ve been following the news, two names have likely flashed across your screens; Senator Krysten Sinema of Arizona and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Both of these senators are considered moderates within the party and both have held the party hostage when it came to votes on certain legislation.
As a result, wielding immense amounts of power due to the slim majority that the democrats held for the last two years.
However, now, with one more seat in the caucus, if the Democrats lose a vote, by either of these two Senators, it won’t hurt as much and won’t stop the passing of legislation.
Confirmation of the Judiciary
Federal Judges such as Supreme Court Justices, court of appeals judges, and district court judges are nominated by the President of the United States and then confirmed by the Senate as per the constitution.
As the President has two years left on his first term, any judge that he nominates should get a swift appointment with this new majority and while it’s unlikely a Supreme Court Justice will step down, anything is possible.
Another Trumper bites the dust
While it’s hard to say that Hershel Walker was a “Trumper” like Kari Lake in Arizona, Walker was a Trump-Backed candidate and if his son is to be believed, then Trump all but ordered Walker to run in Georgia.
What that means is yet again, another Trump-backed candidate lost. I might be getting ahead of myself in saying this but maybe, just maybe this loss signals waning support for Donald Trump, his big lie, and his run for President in 2024.
Rounding this out
With this election over, this pretty much sums up the 2022 midterm elections. Yes, there are a few things still unsettled, like the recount that’s happening in Lauren Boebert’s election but that’s likely still going to result in a win for her.
I feel very safe in saying that as of now, the members of the new congress are set in stone and we can all breathe a sigh of relief, as there won’t be any more elections for a while.
Still, we have had to keep our eyes out on this new congress, with Republicans in control of the House, it should make for an interesting two years.