Raphael Warnock Could Very Well Be the Next U.S. Senator From Georgia. But When?
U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock is seen at a campaign rally on October 3, 2020 in Lithonia, Georgia. Warnock hopes to depose reigning Kelly Loeffler.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg's death gave Donald Trump and the GOP yet another opportunity to pile up the court with another Conservative who could threaten Roe vs. To reverse Wade, to repeal the Affordable Care Act and many other progressive democratic laws. Technically, Republicans have enough votes to get the affirmation through because they control the Senate, and Mitch McConnell has made it clear that he intends to take on Trump's nominee Amy Coney Barrett before a new Congress convenes in January.
The results of a special election in Georgia could help slow its efforts.
In case you weren't careful, Georgia is holding two US Senate elections. There's the regularly scheduled Senate race in which Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff won his primary in June and will attempt to oust GOP Senator David Perdue in November. Then there are the other special elections in the US Senate, with 21 candidates fighting to fill the seat of former Senator John Hardy Isakson, who retired last year on health grounds. Governor Brian Kemp named Kelly Lynn Loeffler to replace him; A permanent senator is elected in the special elections. Isakson's old seat would normally be open in 2022.
The stakes are huge because the Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock with 31 percent and Loeffler with 23 percent and the Republican US representative Doug Collins (R-9th District) with 22 percent leads the so-called "jungle elementary school" poll by the Quinnipiac University. By the way, a jungle elementary school is free for everyone, which members of any group can jump into to win the seat. When special elections are called in Georgia, they fall into this format, as opposed to regularly scheduled elections with partisan primary elections.
To finally win the jungle primary, a candidate must receive 50 percent plus one vote. Otherwise there will be a runoff in January with the two highest votes depending on the party. If Warnock somehow wins the U.S. Senate's special election race in Georgia on the first run on November 3, he could be sworn in by November 30 in time to potentially vote for Ginsberg's replacement.
Warnock's race is similar to Mark Kelly, a candidate for the Arizona Democratic Senate who wants to oust Senator Martha McSally, another Republican nominated to her seat. If he wins, he could be sworn in as early as November 30th, perhaps in time to vote with Warnock on the seat of the High Court if he wins.
A Georgia suffrage expert told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Georgia law dictates the same scenario.
However, there are a number of factors that could affect Warnock's path to final victory in November. Warnock could reach that 50 percent threshold more easily if the other Democrats get out of the race and support him - which the Georgia Democrats are trying to convince them to give Warnock a chance. Democrat Matt Lieberman, son of Joe Lieberman, is 9 percent and Ed Tarver is 4 percent, according to the Quinnipiac poll. Warnock's campaign recently announced a fundraiser of nearly $ 13 million for the third quarter, an extraordinary amount of money for a Senate race of all sizes. Some 2020 presidential candidates haven't drawn as much green. He has also supported virtually all national and local democratic endorsements.
"Matt is very respected and well known, and we believe he would be a great senator," said Michael Rosenzweig, an Atlanta Jewish community leader, according to the Atlanta Journal constitution. "But we think he doesn't have a realistic chance of winning this thing. He does have a chance, however, of knocking Warnock out of the runoff, which will be very worrying."
Many took the ex-Barack Obama's endorsement of Warnock as a not-so-subtle nod for Lieberman to get out. (Fun fact: Joe, Matt's dad, made Obama fart in the face during the health debate that almost threatened to derail her.)
Whether Warnock finally wins the race in November or faces Loeffler or Collins in a January runoff election, he's sure to have enough money to either compete for TV time and run a campaign as good on location as it does each candidate in this COVID can -19 times. Recent calculations by FiveThirtyEight have shown that Warnock defeated Collins and Loeffler in a faceoff. One data point shows that he beats Loeffler by up to 10 points.
The state's demographics also speak for him.
As Georgia's The Root reported during the 2018 gubernatorial race, the state's racial demographics are among the fastest changing in the nation and are expected to be a minority majority state by 2028. This is a prime opportunity for Democrats to turn the state blue and this demographics are already benefiting current candidates like Ossoff running at the national level.
Senator David Purdue, who is in a very close race against Jon Ossoff in the U.S. Senate's other race in Georgia, admitted it during a confidential conference call with Republican activists, according to CNN:
"We had our wake-up call in Georgia," said Perdue, describing the state's recent electoral history with ever closer races. Perdue said he had to win "twice as many votes" as he did in his 2014 campaign to keep his seat due to the influx of new Democrats in Georgia. “The population is moving against us. But we can still win this if we get out and make sure all of our voters vote. That's what matters. "
More than three times as many Democrats voted in this year's primary election as in 2016, despise massive problems at the voting booth in predominantly minority districts. With the record turnout this year, Warnock has a good chance of becoming the next Senator from Georgia. But the real question is when that could happen.
If he gets in the top two next month and wins the runoff election in January, his win would be historic (he would be the first black Senator from Georgia) but likely not in time to sway the vote on who becomes Ginsberg at the Supreme Court replace.
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