Why the result in Georgia is so important

Democrats will have greater power over the budget in the Senate. Moderate Democratic senators will lose almost all their influence.

Democrats have closed an election cycle with a runoff victory in the Georgia Senate race. The result has been mixed: the Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives, albeit narrowly, and the Democrats have more governors, and will not need the vice-presidential vote to have a majority in the Senate. Why is the choice of Raphael Warnock so important?

What was at stake was to maintain the pre-election status quo, with the 100 senators split evenly between the two major parties, or what has finally happened: a 51-49 majority. With that majority:

  • Democrats will have more power in the Senate. With a 50-50 split, committees must have an equal number of members from each party. Votes are tied, and many measures die in the process. With a 51-49 Senate, Democrats are entitled to more senators on committees.
  • They will also have an easier choice of judges. The Heritage Foundation reports that Joe Biden has been able to appoint 87 federal judges in his two years in office, as of December 1 and his second year in office. That's 3 more than Donald Trump and twice as many as Barack Obama (43). With a 50-50 Senate, the approval process is longer. A Democratic advantage, even by two senators, will make the process faster.
  • Democratic committee chairs will be able to issue subpoenas to witnesses to testify before the Senate, and produce documents, without a Republican vote.

A Senate without the moderates' brake

Beyond the power-sharing between the two parties, this election has a very important effect on one of them: a 51-49 majority means that the Democratic Party will not have to negotiate with its most moderate senators: Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ). The position of the two was instrumental in reducing the $3.5 trillion social spending bill compared to the bill that actually went forward, called the Inflation Reduction Bill, whose spending will be in the trillion-dollar range. The new Senate will be much further to the left, due to the loss of power of moderates in the Democratic Party.

The new Senate apportionment will not affect the Republican Senate caucus. McConnell, despite being hotly contested, will remain the leader of the shrinking Republican minority in the Senate.

Donald Trump's defeat

But Walker's defeat does affect the Republican Party. It is yet another defeat for a candidate backed by Donald Trump. Herschel Walker has been widely criticized as a candidate inside and outside the Republican Party. His defeat joins other candidates very close to Trump, such as Kari Lake. The former president has made public his candidacy for 2024, in an atmosphere of defeat. Walker's failure adds cause for concern for Trump's candidacy.

On the other hand, this election again highlights the importance of the funds allocated by each party to campaigns. A report by AdImpact, published in a report by NBC, shows that the Democratic Party spent twice as much on advertising as the Republican Party: $36.5 million versus $15.3 million for the GOP. This huge gap is a result of the GOP establishment's disinterest in Trump's nominees.


There is yet another reason to highlight the importance of this election, although to appreciate it we must look to the future: to 2024. In the November elections of that year, the first Senate class is presented, in which 23 Democratic and 10 Republican senators renew their seats. It is very difficult for the Republicans to lose any of the 10 senators in play, but it is more likely that the Democrats will have to take a loss. Special attention will have to be paid to the states of Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Arizona, all of which are in Democratic hands, and then Florida, with a Republican senator.