All Down to Georgia: New Poll Shows Clear Majority of Americans Want GOP-Controlled Senate

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Posted: Nov 24, 2020 12:01 PM
All Down to Georgia: New Poll Shows Clear Majority of Americans Want GOP-Controlled Senate

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

A fresh survey shows that a substantial majority of Americans favor a Republican-controlled Senate, given the results of the national elections. Faced with the choice of full Democratic control or divided government, people select the latter option by double digits. Whether that outcome actually comes to pass is entirely in the hands of Georgia's voters. Let's take a peek at the polling result -- the margin of which is so significant that there's no way to spin it as "divided" views -- and then consider a few of its implications:

A majority of voters say they want Republicans to remain in control of the Senate in the new year after the Georgia runoff races, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris poll. Fifty-six percent of voters said they want a divided government with Republicans in control of the upper chamber, according to data released exclusively to The Hill. Forty-four percent of voters said they wanted Democrats to control the Senate...The races, which are set to take place Jan. 5, will determine the outcome of the Senate. The majority will have a major effect on President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda for the next two years. Democrats are set to have 48 seats in January. If they win both of the Georgia Senate seats, they would effectively have control of the Senate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie breaking vote.

National polling on this question doesn't really matter because, as mentioned above, the fate of these seats gets determined by state-level electorates; one state, in this case. But given Republicans' success in Senate races across the map this cycle, it's not a surprising revelation that most Americans are hoping for divided government. The people have made that clear with their down-ballot decisions, including boosting Republicans in the House of Representatives to just shy of a majority (they're building their still-growing largest minority since the 1940s). The Harvard/Harris poll's findings also reinforce a point I've made before -- namely, that President-elect Joe Biden will enter office with no meaningful policy mandate to speak of, short of controlling the pandemic (which will be far easier, thanks to the breakthroughs achieved by Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed).

If the American people were champing at the bit for large-scale changes, they would have delivered clear Democratic majorities to Congress, in addition to electing Biden. They haven't done that at all, and the survey above confirms their intentions. Voters want some gridlock. They want checks and balances. They don't want Democratic dominance. They want to see the parties work together to hammer out modest, moderate, incremental outcomes. If the people of Georgia decide to send David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler back to the Senate, that's what the country will get. If Georgians choose to replace these conservative Senators with liberals, Democrats will wield control over the presidency, the Senate and the House, placing immense power in the hands of Kamala Harris. Yesterday, I mentioned the harebrained scheme from some fringe figures demanding that Republican voters allow Democrats to win these races as a gesture of loyalty to Trump. The president's eldest son is having none of it:


With Socialists Bernie Sanders and AOC raising money for Warnock -- and by extension, his "running mate" Jon Ossoff -- the Left is heavily invested in Georgia. AOC has explained the stakes of these races, expressing her fond wish that Democratic majorities will allow her party to cut Republicans completely out of governing negotiations. I'll leave you with Perdue's cheeky offer to pay for AOC's flight down to the Peach State: