With judicial nominees, a stimulus deal, infrastructure, health care measures, and tax policies all on the line, the Senate runoff elections in Georgia had an intensity that rivaled that of the presidential election. Early voting during the Georgia runoff elections happened on December 14th, and allowed individuals to conveniently cast their ballots via postal voting or early in-person polling stations. This election, which is formally known as a runoff election, was held to make sure the top vote-earning candidate achieved at least 50% of the votes cast. In comparison, to similar elections that happened in the past, this recent runoff election held more weight because the political party that won it gained control of the Senate. In one of the elections, Democrat Raphael Warnock, a politician and a pastor, ran against Republican Senator and businesswoman Kelly Loeffler. In the other election, Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, a congressional aid and journalist, faced incumbent Republican Senator and former business executive David Perdue.
Before the election, the Republicans held 50 of the 100 Senate seats, while the Democrats held 48. If the Republicans won one of the two Georgia seats, they would retain control of the Senate. Democrats needed to win both seats to gain control of the Senate.
On Wednesday, January 6th, Democrat Raphael Warnock beat Republican Kelly Loeffler and made headlines by becoming Georgia’s first Black Senator-elect. Later that day, Democrat Jon Ossoff also won against Republican David Perdue. These two new Senator-elects presently balance out the Senate seats 50 to 50. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris now has the authority to cast a tie-breaking vote. As a result, Chuck Schumer, the current Democratic minority leader, will be able to transition and take Mitch McConnell’s position, becoming the Senate majority leader. This election made a great impact on President-elect Joe Biden’s presidency, and he will now have an easier time fulfilling his political agenda. After Biden’s inauguration, Americans are likely to see policies passed in favor of significant social change.