The balance of power in the Senate, along with how much Joe Biden can accomplish during his first term as president, will be determined solely by a two-race election in Georgia held on Jan. 5. Ironically, the Georgia law requiring a runoff race when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the general election was specifically designed by racist lawmakers to disenfranchise the Black vote. The conventional thinking has always been that high turnout benefits Democrats while lower-turnout elections, like a runoff, help Republicans. While the GOP is a smaller group, its constituents are more likely to vote.
This ploy has worked in years past. In 1992, the last time a Democratic presidential candidate won Georgia, Democratic Sen. Wyche Fowler Jr. ran six points ahead of Bill Clinton on Election Day. However, during the runoff, not enough Democratic voters showed up. Fowler Jr. wound up losing to his Republican opponent. For the runoff this January, however, this ridiculous law may benefit the Democrats for the first time. There is a real possibility that Democrats will win both seats—odds we simply didn’t have on Election Day. Besides the massive demographic shift and intense energy on our side, the GOP has devolved into a civil war between the pragmatists and the cultists. Their interests were aligned on Election Day, but no longer.