So now Georgia will be represented by two new Democratic senators?

The voters of Georgia have not only picked senators from another party, but Georgia’s majority voters have changed the course of the United States, as these two newly-elected men go to Washington and ensure a Senate is under Democratic control.

It’s been years since the state of Georgia had so much political power. For a comparable time, we have to at least go back to the days when Jimmy Carter was president, and Sam Nunn was in the Senate, or if not further back to perhaps back to the era of Richard Russell and Carl Vinson.

Senators-elect from Georgia - Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphel Warnock
Senators-elect from Georgia – Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphel Warnock

While my thinking was that the two Republicans would survive the senatorial runoff, I was not entirely surprised that the Democrats won.  After all, in the days preceding the voting, there were several indications that something was afoot that the election would not be just another runoff with Republicans voting in a bigger turnout than Democrats.

Among these incidents:

  • 76,000 more people were registered for the runoff than in the General Election. We suspect the majority of these were Democrats.
  • 100,000 more new people voted who had not voted in the General Election.
  • There was a harshness and meanness in the Republican advertising message to voters.  I think this turned some independents into voting for Democrats.
  • As a contract, particularly the Warnock campaign took the high road, talking about him being born in Savannah, the first in his family to graduate from college, etc. And then there was Warnock walking his dog.  His advertising was far more compelling, and also much warmer than Kelly Loeffler’s.
  • Some Republicans said  they would not vote in the runoff since it was rigged.  What kind of thinking is that? How could their candidate do well without their voting?
  • You must also wonder if the barrage of advertising in the races turned voters’ minds. Georgia certainly had a bellyful of television advertising, telephone calls and oversized mailers about the election. Some people may have stayed away from the polls, disgusted with it all.
  • And then President Trump was not conceding and continuing to stir things up. This again may have caused moderates to move away from their previous support for him.

His last-minute visit to Georgia, particularly in Northwest Georgia, did not seem to propel his turnout. Would he have done better going to a more central location?

Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams

So, what are the takeaways from the runoff voting? No doubt in my mind that there were at least two overall winners from this campaign.

The first is Stacey Abrams. She mobilized voters in 2020 as we have never seen before. She is on a quest, and right now, oddsmakers should have her as a shoo-in if she wants to run for governor (especially against Kemp).  We somehow suspect she would rather prepare herself for a gubernatorial campaign than take a job in the Biden Administration.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

The other winner was a Republican, Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. He accounted himself with distinction as he maintained his ground for the integrity of the voting process, and even had to withstand the browbeating of President Trump. He seems to be a team player and could easily retain his office two years from now. He certainly is the most well-known of any of the 50 secretary of states in this nation. Thank  you, Mr. Raffensperger.

Now while many people want a Congress guided by two different political parties, we’ll watch the Democrats in control to see if they can guide our nation back to more sanity.

###

Editor's Note: this story first appeared at GwinnettForum.com.

 

Image Credits: photo of the west side of the US Capitol was taken by Martin Falbisoner via Wikipedia.org (Creative Commons); Senator-elect Jon Ossoff via Jon Ossoff for U.S. Senate; Senator-elect Raphael Warnock photo taken by GH_8149 via flickr (Public Domain); Stacey Abrams courtesy of FairFight.org; Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger via SOS.GA.gov (public domain).

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County, http://www.gwinnettforum.com, and Georgia news, http://www.georgiaclips.com.