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Unpacking the results of the Georgia Senate Runoff Race

So many aspects of the Georgia Senate runoffs are either historic or unprecedented. Senate-elect Raphael Warnock is the first black man from Georgia to be elected to the Senate, and only the 11th black senator in the history of the United States Senate. At 33 years old, Senate-elect John Ossoff is the youngest United States Senator since Joe Biden was elected as Senator from Delaware in 1973. Ossoff will also be the first Jewish Senator from Georgia. All of these historic firsts coincide with Georgia voting for Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential election, the first time the state has elected a Democratic candidate in over 2 decades.

[bf_image id="chk5tzqkhk5wf3jf38gqn6"] What does this mean for the Senate as a whole? Well, for the first time since 2001, the Senate is evenly split 50-50. After the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20th, the Democrats will hold the Senate majority, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker, and Senator Chuck Schumer from New York serving as the new majority leader. Alongside a Democratic majority House, things are looking up for the future of progressive legislation and the prospect of widespread Democratic leadership.

[bf_image id="cv5nttnj6mf85jkf242x7fvm"] Despite the fact that Democrats now dominate Congress and the executive branch, we cannot expect progressive change to occur without a fight. Both the House and Senate are held by very slim majorities, and we cannot trust every Democratic representative and senator to vote along party lines. It is more important than ever for constituents to demand that their voices be heard, their needs be met, and their grievances be addressed. The elections of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff demonstrate that majorities are easily won and lost, but it has also served as a wake up call for state representatives. A state’s liberal or conservative identity can change, and representatives who become complacent, or assume the political makeup of their voter base, will lose. 

Isabella Guerrero

UC Riverside '21

A writer learning as I go.
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