Among much else, the elections culminating today will determine who controls the U.S. Senate over the next two years. One of the reasons that is critical is that the U.S. Senate confirms judicial appointments. Republicans, when last in control of the U.S. Senate, refused even to allow a hearing on an appointment by a Democratic President to a Supreme Court vacancy. A Republican Senate would very likely mean that any death or retirement on the Supreme Court would result in a continuing vacancy. A Democratic Senate would very likely mean that President Biden would be able to fill any seat opened by such a death or retirement.
The U.S. Senate is divided 50/50 between the parties and tie votes are broken by Vice President Harris, which gives control to the Democratic Party. This year, 34 seats in the Senate are contested.
There are 10 Senatorial elections that are especially suspenseful. Six of them are seats that a Republican holds, representing Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The other four are seats that a Democrat now holds, representing Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
The Thing to Know:
Georgia’s race has some fascinating quirks that complicate matters considerably. Georgia has a strong Libertarian Party, and the Libertarian candidate often takes votes away from the Republicans. In this instance, that may help Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) retain his seat against a challenge from former football star Herschel Walker (R).