What Democrats Must Do To Win Georgia Senate Run-Off Races

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Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash

There is nothing quite like a bowl of juicy peaches in the morning. Georgia’s voters are like a bowl of fresh peaches to the fate of national politics. Both political parties want them, but neither can have the whole bowl.

Let’s face it, when the 2020 campaign season began, few prognosticators gave Democrats a chance to flip Georgia for former Vice-President Joe Biden. Even fewer gave Jon Ossoff and Dr. Raphael Warnock a chance to compete with Senators Kelly Loffler and David Perdue. Few that is, except Joe, Jon, and Raphael.

Now that little doubt is left in anyone’s mind, except Donald Trump and a few minions, that Joe Biden won the 2020 General Election to become the 46th President of the United States, all eyes are on Georgia’s January 5, 2021 run-off election to pick two senators.

Yes, that’s right, as unbelievable as that seemed a year ago, decades-old Red state Georgia holds the key to the balance of power in the next presidential administration. Democrats can win Georgia in the senate run-offs, giving Democrats 50 of the 100 senate seats, and with a tie-breaker from Vice President Kalama Harris, the power to enact Biden’s plan.

But they will have to tackle the 800-pound elephant in the state front and center to earn the right to set the agenda in the US Congress.

Republicans wasted little time framing the senate run-off races, in dark terms, as a continuation of the bottleneck politics we have seen in Washington for much of the last two decades. Republicans have framed the issue to reelect Loffler and Perdue as placing a firewall against Democratic policies regarding immigration, healthcare, taxation of the wealthy, and climate control.

And while Warnock and Ossoff have been quick to extoll the virtues of their candidacies, they have failed to frame their run-off election to stop the gridlock in the District of Columbia.

Suppose Democrats are to mobilize Georgia voters who turned out to give Biden a resounding win over Trump in November. In that case, they will have to paint the picture that a Biden victory is meaningless without a House and a Senate that can enable him to build America “back better.”

The Georgia senate run-offs come down to whether Biden has the political muscle to carry out his plan of restoring to the US’s prominence on the world stage before the Trump administration’s “America First” initiative. And keeping his promise to shore up Obama Care with a touch of Biden Care, not to mention Biden’s intentions to deal aggressively with climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.

Suppose Warnock and Ossoff are to make history and become the first two US Senators from the same state to be elected in the same year. In that case, Biden will have to visit Georgia before Christmas to keep the senate races’ importance in the minds of Democratic and Independent voters who are struggling to have a semblance of a Christmas amid the great pandemic of 2020.

To top off the Democratic push, former President Barack Obama will have to come back into the state in January and campaign for Warnock and Ossoff. Since the run-off is on the first Tuesday in January, an Obama visit on New Year’s day would serve as a significant motivator to get out the vote for the Democrats.

Without proper framing and Biden and Obama’s appearance in the State, Democrats are just whistling Dixie in the wind.

Harold Michael Harvey is the Living Now 2020 Bronze Medal winner for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. Harvey is an engaging public speaker. Contact him at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com.

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Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at haroldmichaelharvey.com

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