Georgia has become the centre of the political universe in the US as the state is holding run-off elections for both the US Senate seats on January 5.(Reuters/ File photo)
Georgia has become the centre of the political universe in the US as the state is holding run-off elections for both the US Senate seats on January 5.(Reuters/ File photo)

Why are the stakes so high in Georgia Senate run-off elections

Georgia has become the centre of the political universe in the US as the state is holding run-off elections for both the US Senate seats on January 5 which means that the question of which party will control the upper chamber of the legislature will remain unanswered, even though the new Congress will be sworn in on January 3.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON NOV 25, 2020 02:41 PM IST

After the hand recount of about 5 million ballots ended on Friday, Georgia declared Joe Biden the winner in the state with a margin of 12,670 votes or a 0.2 per cent lead over incumbent President Donald Trump. But Georgia has become the centre of the political universe in the US because the state is holding run-off elections for both the US Senate seats on January 5 which means that the question of which party will control the upper chamber of the legislature will remain unanswered, even though the new Congress will be sworn in on January 3.

Why are the seats having run-off elections?

Both races are headed for run-off elections on Jan. 5 after no candidate in either race managed to win a majority of the votes. Several US states including Georgia require run-off elections for primary contests that produce no clear winner.

Read more | Presidential race official recount gets underway in Georgia

Why are the seats important?

The outcome of the elections will determine who will control the Senate. Presently, Republicans hold the majority in the senate at 50-48. Both seats in Georgia are currently held by Republicans: David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. If they are able to retain their seats, the Republicans will be able to retain their majority control in the senate and this will give them greater ability to block President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda and proposals from the Democratic-controlled House.

Click here for the complete coverage of US Presidential elections 2020

What is expected from the run- off elections?

Democrats have failed to generate the “blue wave” of voters that they had hoped for. Even though Joe Biden was able to win in Georgia, becoming the first democrat to do so since Bill Clinton in 1992, democrats face a huge challenge in both the Senate seats. Georgia has not elected a Democratic senator since 1996. But if Democrats win both the Senate races, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ would be the tie-breaking vote, giving the party unified control of the White House and Congress.

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