'The Eyes of the Nation Are On Us:' It's Election Day in Georgia, with Everything on the Line

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Posted: Jan 05, 2021 10:00 AM
'The Eyes of the Nation Are On Us:' It's Election Day in Georgia, with Everything on the Line

Source: AP Photo/Ben Gray

So much of what needs to be said about the importance of the Georgia Senate runoffs has already been said. The United States Senate majority hangs in the balance, with Peach State voters deciding whether Mitch McConnell and Republicans will control the legislative agenda and committees, or whether those important powers will fall into the hands of Chuck Schumer. Georgia will decide whether the GOP has a check on Democrats' agenda in the upper chamber of Congress, or whether Joe Biden, Kamala Harris (whose vote would break one 50-50 tie after another), Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi will dominate the federal government. The National Republican Senatorial Committee summarizes the state of play in this video, urging voters to "hold the line," as they did in so many crucial races in November. This is the final chapter of the 2020 cycle, and it all boils down to two seats in a single state:


Toward the end of the clip, Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue talk about winning Georgia to "save America," a dramatic juxtaposition with Schumer's infamous "take Georgia, then change America" vow in the streets of New York City. The GOP has descended upon the state, deploying every major surrogate in its arsenal to help generate enthusiasm and encourage turnout among red-leaning voters. Here are just a few examples, including three members of the Trump family:


The day has finally arrived. Democrats believe they've banked a lead with early and absentee voting, and it will take a strong Republican turnout on Election Day itself – today – to overcome it and preserve the GOP majority. If Democrats are going to win these races tonight, it will be because of Republican anger, disunity and turmoil. One of the reasons last night's Trump rally was seen as so important by operatives on the ground is that some of the most conservative areas of the state have lagged on turnout metrics thus far. On the other hand, conservative voters are the most likely to show up at the polls on the day of the election, and the overwhelming purpose of the president's visit was to goose those numbers and to remind even disaffected and frustrated supporters that he strongly endorses their participation in the process today. One dynamic Republicans are hoping to see in the final results is Raphael Warnock under-performing among moderate-leaning suburbanites, and Jon Ossoff under-performing among certain demographics, including Black voters:


But those somewhat subtle shifts will mean little if rock-ribbed Righties from North Georgia (and all over the state) don't show up in force today. Given everything we already know about Warnock, a tax-related controversy seems almost quaint – but this is still illustrative of how flawed his candidacy is (the lying Jon Ossoff, by contrast, has been able to live an unaccomplished, charmed life because he comes from family money):

Raphael Warnock, Democratic Senate candidate and senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, has had repeated problems remembering to pay the property taxes on church properties and his church’s trash collection over the past decade. Four times in six years, Warnock, as CEO of Ebenezer Baptist Church, had tax liens imposed against him for failing to pay for trash collection and recycling. The Fulton County tax commissioner collects fees for trash collection and recycling on behalf of the city of Atlanta.

These failures may seem less significant if not for the fact that Warnock is dead-set in favor of raising Americans' tax burdens if he's elected to the US Senate. The polls are suspect and the "experts" are often wrong. The fate of these seats, and everything they represent, is entirely up to millions of Georgia voters. Many blue voters have already cast their ballots. Today's the day for team red. There are reasons to believe that Republicans have a slight edge (which would certainly be the case historically), but the chaos and controversy of the last few days could absolutely scramble the equation. These races are total toss-ups. Vote, vote, vote. I'll leave you with this prediction from one set of gurus – with a dose of skepticism from RealClearPolitics' very sharp elections analyst, Sean Trende: