Written by Quinn Bourret (News Writer)
Alongside the recent presidential election, seats in the House and Senate were also voted upon, and the results will potentially give Democrats legislation with relative ease.
With term limits of 6 years, 33 Senate seats are up for election every 2 years. Before the election, the Senate was made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and 2 Independents. Despite both independents, Bernie Sanders and Angus King, both generally voting Democrat, Republicans still had a notable advantage at 53–47. Depending on how the remainder of the election pans out, Democrats might be capable of getting 3 more votes, changing the balance of the Senate 50–50. So far, Democrats have gained 1 of these votes, and have the potential to get the other 2.
The election not being entirely finished is a result of two runoff elections in Georgia, resulting from Georgian law mandating another election in January if neither side gets a majority. One of the races resulted in the votes being 49.7% to 48% in favor of the Republican candidate. The other, a special election resulting from the resignation of the previous Republican senator, went 32.9% to 25.9% in favor of one of the many Democratic candidates, both sides having multiple Republicans and Democrats. However, the total vote for Democrat candidates is ever so slightly higher than the number of votes for Republican candidates at 48.4% to 48.3%. The two most voted for candidates in both elections will go head to head on January 5. Both elections are very close, and with encouragement, voters from both parties will likely be voting in great numbers to decide the fate of the Senate. It should be noted that Georgia leaned blue for the presidential election, surprising many.
Representatives in the House serve for two years, the entirety of the seats in the House is up for election then. Democratic seats flipped to Republicans in California, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah, and no Republican seats flipped to Democrats. But despite losing 12 seats in the House, Democrats still easily have an outright majority of 220 to 207.
With the House and executive branch in Democratic control, the Democrats have overall control. If the runoff elections in Georgia go in favor of the Democrats, the Senate will be tied and it will only require a single Republican to vote left for the Democrats to pass desired legislation. Democrats might be able to pack the courts, passing legislation that increases the number of Supreme Court Justices and then appointing Democratic justices to gain control of the courts, for example.
The election in Georgia will have considerable influence on how the next four years pan out in the United States, and potentially far past that with Democratic supported laws. The election of the House did not change anything considerably, but the Senate election might result in a tie between Democrats and Republicans that can be used by the Democratic party to enact lasting legislation and to direct the fate of the country.