Georgia was the last of the 13 states to join the federation at the founding of the American state in 1788, and more than 240 years after its accession, Georgia lags again for the rest of the 50 states in resolving the electoral struggle over its two seats in the Senate.
The outcome of the Georgia state elections would give a majority to one party, Republican or Democratic, which would determine the compass of US domestic politics during the years of Joe Biden’s rule.
The 2020 legislative elections resulted in the Democratic Party’s continued control of the House of Representatives by 222 votes to 212, with one seat still undecided, while the Republicans won 50 seats in the Senate, compared to 48 for the Democrats, with a run-off for two Georgia state seats. .
And if Republicans win at least a seat, they will retain the majority in the Senate, while the majority will go to the Democrats if they win the two seats, as the constitution gives Vice President – Kamala Harris – a decisive vote in his capacity as Speaker in the event of a tie.
How did Georgia get to this stage?
Republican Senator Johnny Isaacson announced his retirement in December 2019 before the end of his term in the Senate for health reasons. The Republican governor chose Kelly Loeffler, a businesswoman, to replace Isaacson until new elections are held in November 2020.
This coincided with the date of the election of the other Senate seat for the state, which was occupied over the past six years by Republican Senator David Purdue, and from here Georgia witnessed unique elections for its two seats in the Senate at the same date.
Neither race was decided on November 3; David Purdue won 49.7% of the vote against Democrat John Usov’s 47.9%, Republican Kelly Loeffler got 25.9%, while Democrat Raphael Warnock got 32.9% of the vote, which prompted a run-off election on January 5 between the first. Two candidates for each seat, as no candidate scored more than the 50% specified by the state constitution to win.
The Trump and Biden Struggle
Joe Biden’s victory in the state in the 2020 elections was a historic event, for the first time since 1992 that a Democratic candidate won the state of Georgia and got its 16 electoral college votes.
Biden won by a narrow margin of only 12,000 votes, and received 49.5% of the vote against 49.7% for President Donald Trump.
The last night before the vote saw Trump and Biden participate in separate races to shore up the fortunes of their party’s candidates in the state.
Georgia’s heavy legacy
Georgia was named this in honor of British King George II, and its capital, Atlanta, witnessed one of the fiercest battles of the Civil War, as well as the movie “Gone with the Wind”, the most important American Civil War film, reflected the nature of political life and the hideous practices of slavery In the state.
One of the state’s most famous sons is the famous Reverend Martin Luther King, the leader of the American civil rights movement, who was assassinated in 1968.
For many years, whites represented the vast majority of the state’s population; However, this reality is witnessing a continuous change in recent years, as there has been a significant change in the state’s population structure with the increase in the number of black immigrants from within the United States, and immigrants from Latin American countries.
The state’s population currently stands at 10.8 million people, of whom 52% are whites, 33% are blacks, 10% are Hispanic-speaking Latins, and 4.5% are Asians.
For the first time since the 1870s, the victory of the presidential candidate winning the state vote depends on a coalition that is majority black, not white, the group of black voters in Georgia pushed Biden to victory, the first time that the state votes went to the Democratic candidate since the 1992 election.
The question remains about the two seats in the Senate, whether the two Democratic candidates in the run-off are able to replicate Biden’s success, or whether the state returns to its republican roots?
The Role of Stacy Abrams
One of the most important factors affecting the political transition in Georgia is the unprecedented expansion of black voter registration campaigns and their massive mobilization led by Stacy Abrams, the former Democratic Party’s candidate for governor in 2018.
In 2008, Barack Obama won about 47% of the vote in Georgia, which was considered a big improvement for the Democrats compared to the previous four years, when John Kerry got 41% of the vote.
With Atlanta’s population growth dramatic and declining white population, it seemed that the state that had not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 was poised to turn Democratic blue, or at least purple, into a swing state.
But that did not happen; Rather, what Obama got in 2012 fell to 45%, and the Democrats believed that it was the maximum they could get, and the party’s candidates in the two seats in the Senate and the state governor in 2014 got only 45% of the vote, which is the same percentage that Hillary got. Clinton in the 2016 election.
However, Stacy Abrams managed to break the 45% barrier, and got 48.8% in her campaign for the state governor in 2018, then Biden won the state with 49.5% of the vote.
Stacy has gone to great lengths over the past few years in voter registration campaigns, especially among blacks.
In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Professor of Political Science at Emory University in Georgia state, Zachary Biskowitz, affirmed that “Georgia’s elections are no longer limited to the interest of state voters; interest in them extends to the concern of the United States as a whole, but the world as well.”
He added that the massive influx of spending on election campaigns, visits by prominent politicians nationwide, and the intense media focus are factors that have led to governmental and local issues playing a secondary role in the campaign.
Biskowitz opined that these races are primarily over who will maintain the majority in the Senate for the next two years.