State of Georgia will define America's political future

The southern state will define 2 key seats in the US Senate on January 5.

View of the United States Congress

Control of the US Senate will be defined in the state of Georgia. / Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Estado de Georgia definirá el futuro político de EEUU

Georgia is a state embedded in the American South. Within it, there is a micro-universe that characterizes all the southern states: 10 million people, almost 60% white and 37% black and Latino.

In addition, the peach state has a history with slavery (it fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War), with large plantations, and a city that increasingly attracts more investment with liberal tendencies, such as Atlanta. Its capital (and at the same time, the most populated city) is home to large multinationals such as Coca-Cola or CNN.

In the past federal elections, it surprised many by going from Red-Republican to Blue-Democrat for the first time since 1992. Despite current President Donald Trump insisting that Georgia was one of the places where the election fraud prevented him from winning, a recount of the more than 5 million votes suggests otherwise.

In the elections that gave the victory to Democrat Joe Biden, the small difference between the two parties was also reflected in the congressional elections. Of the 3 big wins, the Democrats have retained one (the House of Representatives) and captured the presidency. The other great prize is the Senate and so far the Republicans are only 1 seat away from maintaining a simple majority (51 senators).

After November 3, the Republican party has 50 seats out of 100 possible, while the Democrats (adding independents) have 48. What remains to be defined? the 2 positions of Georgia. In this state, unlike the majority, if a senator does not obtain 50.1% of the votes, he must compete in the second round.

For one of these positions, Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff will compete. Perdue is the current owner of the post, he is a staunch defender of President Trump and belongs to a family of political lineage and with great economic power in the state. In addition, he is embroiled in a corruption scandal, as he is believed to have profited from information he acquired as a member of congress to sell shares before the stock market crash due to the Covid pandemic.

His opponent, Jon Ossoff (an investigative journalist) has been able to exploit these weak points of the Republican. A few days ago, he was the only one who attended the first of the 2 debates prior to the election and from there he recriminated the disappearance of Perdue from the public atmosphere as a tactic to avoid the debates. Of course, the Republican senator did appear at one of Donald Trump's rallies in Georgia the day before the debate.

For the other seat, current Republican senator Kelly Loeffler and pro-choice Democratic pastor Raphael Warnock compete. In the initial round, The Democrat finished first (with 32.9% of the votes), but 2 Republican candidates followed: Loeffler (25.9%) and Doug Collins (20%).

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Loeffler, like Perdue, is a great admirer of Donald Trump and has ensured that she agrees with everything that the current US president has done and said. She has not even admitted the defeat of her leader in the last elections, although she has been in trouble when she also tries to defend the work of the state government (also Republican).

Loeffler has wanted to impose herself as the candidate against the strong restrictions in the midst of the pandemic and has accused Warnock of wanting to defund the police (a measure defended by the Black Lives Matters movement) and of having been close to former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

If the Democrats manage to turn Georgia around and take both seats, they would have full control of the Senate (with a tie which Vice President Kamala Harris breaks), the House and the presidency. This would allow President-elect Biden and the Democratic Party to give free rein to all of their most important policies: universal health insurance, women's rights, LGBT + rights, and the fight against Climate Change.

Additionally, they would become able to appoint future magistrates to the Supreme Court (currently occupied by a conservative majority) and from there, to design the political future of the United States for the next few years.