Way down in Georgia

by Jahari Henry, Staff Writer

Although overshadowed by the vile ugliness of the Capitol Insurrection on January 6th, something very historic happened the day before in Georgia. Democratic candidates John Ossof and Raphael Warnock became Senators Ossoff and Warnock respectively. While this win was historic for the numerous firsts it produced in Georgia and the United States, the political ramifications it will have on the next two years as well cannot go unmentioned. Here is a deep dive of what went down in Georgia and what it might mean for national politics.

Why did Georgia go Blue ?

Frankly, the explanation for Georgia going blue can't be credited to just one person or factor. It was a combination of demographic changes, grass-roots work that began around 2010, and a general distaste of President Trump in critical Georgia suburbs for both Democrats and Republicans.

Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock talking to voters.
Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock talks to voters.

Since the 2010 census many states in the sunbelt region of the United States have been becoming more diverse. Traditionally, when there is more diversity in the population of a state, it tends to favor Democratic candidates. Georgia is a case study for this trend. According to U.S census data from 2010 Georgia had a population of a little over 9.5 million people. As of 2019 that number has jumped by 1 million people. With increases among African Americans and Asian Americans and decreases among White Americans. This trend was also very prevalent in the exit polling after the senate elections. Republicans won 69% of White Georgians, while Democrats won a majority of Black Georgians, Latino Georgians and Georgians of other ethnic groups.

A second major factor of Georgia going to the Democrats can be attributed to grass roots work done by Democrats that goes back to the 2010s. Individuals like former Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Stacey Abrams and groups such as Fair Fight heavily contributed to Georgia electing two democrats to the senate as well as Biden winning the state in the presidential election.

Finally, a general distaste of President Trump and Republicans in the suburbs of Atlanta, Savannah, and Columbus, some of the state's biggest cities, also contributed to the Democratic win. A trend that carried over from the 2018 midterm election. This is evident in the exit polling after the Senate election with residents of the Suburbs going for the Democrats 53% to 47%. These percentages coupled with the votes the Democrats received from the metro areas of big cities like Atlanta and Savannah served to offset the rural vote that overwhelmingly went for the Republicans.

Democrats control WHAT ?

The most obvious and arguably most important ramifications of this win is that Democrats now control the House, Senate, and White House. This trifecta of government gives the Democrats two whole years to pass any legislation they want Although President Biden has called on Republicans and Democrats to work in a bipartisan nature this hope for bipartisanship cannot become a reality with cooperation from both parties in Congress.

With complete control of the government Democrats will look to pass more liberal and progressive legislation. Such as: 15 dollar minimum wage, Statehood for D.C and Puerto Rico, the Equality Act and major Climate Change legislation.

Whether or not these lofty campaign proposals come to fruition remains to be seen. However until then President Biden can rest easy knowing that Congress is on his side … for now.