In this week's leadership elections, Senate Republicans unanimously selected Mitch McConnell to continue leading their conference in the new Congress. Whether his title -- Senate Majority Leader -- will change depends on the outcomes of two runoff elections in the state of Georgia on January 5th. For days, we've told you that GOP victories in a handful of yet-uncalled races were highly likely. Those results are now official. Thom Tillis has won re-election in North Carolina, despite trailing in nearly every single poll (a familiar achievement for him), and Dan Sullivan has been declared the winner in Alaska. Republicans have officially secured 50 seats. But if Democrats sweep the runoffs in the Peach State, a 50/50 Senate would be a Kamala Harris Senate, with Chuck Schumer supplanting McConnell as majority leader. Newly-chosen National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman, Florida's Rick Scott, is already up with an ad in Georgia. It features Schumer's now-famous pronouncement about Democrats 'taking' Georgia in order to 'change America:'
A soundbyte that may have similar potency is this assessment from AOC, pledging to do whatever she can to prevent Republicans from holding the Senate. The goal, she says, is to cut Republicans out of governing negotiations completely:
"I'm going to spending my next couple of months doing everything I can...to make sure that we don't have a Senate Republican majority, that we win these races in Georgia, that we secure a Democratic Senate majority so that we don't have to negotiate..."
The Congresswoman evidently thinks she can win internecine policy battles within the Democratic Party in order to push a hard-left agenda, but she recognizes that her dreams would run into the McConnell buzzsaw if Republicans control the upper chamber. This ad from Kelly Loeffler, one of the GOP candidates in the Georgia runoffs, showcases several pertinent clips of major Democrats spelling out the stakes:
If Schumer, Abrams (who never conceded the race in her 2018 gubernatorial loss, and has become a Democratic folk hero as a result) and AOC are all fervently supportive of an electoral outcome under these circumstances, every non-leftist -- from moderates to hardcore right-wingers -- must unite to accomplish the opposite. With every polling caveat firmly in place, I'll leave you with this:
First Georgia runoff poll I've seen shows basically what you would expect, a very tight race (GOP pollster):— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) November 11, 2020
-Loeffler (R) 49% - Warnock (D) 48%
-Perdue (R) 50% - Ossoff (D) 46%
Remington Research, n=1,450 LVs. The margin of error 2.6 percentage points. https://t.co/J2QHcFZPex
Close races with Republicans slightly ahead? Doesn't seem far-fetched at all, but these (or better) results will rely on the center-right mobilizing and getting the job done. Oh, and while we're on the subject of AOC, Nancy Pelosi may be in for a long few years:
Former AOC chief of staff — https://t.co/KKpLHjTD4P— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 11, 2020
UPDATE - AOC is already fundraising to help the cause in Georgia, falsely claiming that it's a "voter suppressed" state. Georgia set new turnout records in several consecutive election cycles, including this one. AOC and friends are all-in on these runoffs:
Georgia isn’t a red state. It’s a voter-suppressed state.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 12, 2020
Last night #TeamAOC mobilized to raise $100k *directly* to grassroots orgs @fairfightaction, @NewGAProject,& more.
Time to charge forward & support the folks leading the way.
Let’s kick it up: https://t.co/w1F2d7pUFV pic.twitter.com/bqWA8p84xj