An electoral race for control of the Senate has begun in the United States, even prior Democrat Joe Biden won the presidency.
Georgia state law dictates that since no single candidate for Senate secured over 50% of the vote, the candidates will face off in a special election on January 5.
Senate control will thus be decided in Georgia, since if both its seats were occupied by Democrats, the Senate would end up with a 50-50 split, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking tie votes.
Although senate races in North Carolina and Alaska remain to be called, they will most likely go to the Republicans, barring unforeseen circumstances.
The United States has a bicameral political system; support from both the House of Representatives and the Senate is required for passing a great deal of legislation.
During the last two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, the House of Representatives was under Democratic control, forcing the government to negotiate some bills and reject others, such as the economic stimulus package to aid in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Senate also has special duties, such as confirming the Supreme Court justices nominated by the president.
If a Supreme Court judge dies or otherwise leaves office and the Senate is under Republican control, Biden would need approval from at least some Republican senators to appoint a replacement.
The upcoming election, in which Republican senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue face off with Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, could therefore be decisive in the development of Biden’s presidency.
Although the current favourites are Loeffler–who last Tuesday defeated another Republican candidate seeking to represent the party in the run-off–and Perdue, the situation could well change.
The candidates launched their fundraising campaigns and even ran their first advertisements before knowing who the next president would be.
Warnock posted a video warning voters of “lies” and “the negative ads against us [that] are coming” in the run-off. Ossoff called for the defeat of the “disgraced senator David Perdue” on January 5.
During this initial fundraising campaign, targeted at Democratic voters, both candidates have received support from Stacey Abrams, former mayor of Atlanta and one of the most renowned Democrats on the national level.
The Republican Party has also tried to mobilise its base.
In a tweet, Loeffler asked for donations, claiming that she was running against “one of the most radical Democrats in the country.” (PL)