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GA Runoff: Why A 51st Senate Seat Matters So Much

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 - 01:30 AM

In Georgia's January 2021 runoff, control of the Senate was at stake. With Democrats already holding 50 seats plus Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote, that won't the the case with the Dec. 6 runoff pitting GOP challenger Herschel Walker against incumbent Raphael Warnock. 

Still, both parties are pouring millions into this race -- because winning a 51st seat in Georgia would greatly ease Democrats' rule over the Senate.

A recent poll shows Walker (left) trailing Warnock by 4 points (Getty Images via PBS

A tied Senate "slows everything down," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Associated Press. "So it makes a big difference to us." 

That would be true right from the start of the next session of Congress. If Democrats are stuck on a 50-50 tie, Schumer will have to once again negotiate a power-sharing arrangement with the GOP's Mitch McConnell, covering the composition of committees and rules for advancing legislation for a floor vote. Last time around, McConnell used that process to obtain assurances from Democrats that they wouldn't kill the filibuster. 

In the current Senate, committees have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. If Warnock wins, expect Democrats to have a two-seat majority on each committee. Tied committee votes necessitate extra steps on the Senate floor to advance nominations and legislation.  

A two-seat edge in the full Senate would dull the moderating power of Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (WV) Kyrsten Sinema (AZ). Today, each one effectively holds a veto power over Democratic proposals, and has used it to frustrate the most ambitious proposals of the progressive left. With both facing reelection races in 2024, they'll be motivated to continue showcasing moderation for their respective states. 

Fifty-one votes is all it takes to approve federal judicial nominations, so a Warnock win would free the Democrats to easily pump more leftist judges into the system. 

Perhaps nobody's as excited about the prospect of 51 Democratic senators than Kamala Harris. The Senate math forces her to stay close to Washington so she can cast her tie-breaking votes. Indeed, she's a handful of votes away from breaking a nearly two-century-old record set by Vice President John Calhoun.

Liberated from a beltway orbit, Harris would be free to travel the nation and the world, spewing her trademark word salads, empty blather and cringy cackles everywhere she goes. 

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