BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As the nation waits to hear who will win the presidential election, it is still unknown which party will take control of the U.S. Senate come 2021. 23ABC spoke with a local expert to break down where the fight stands for the upper chamber of congress.
The race for control of the senate has huge implications. There are still a few races yet to be called around the country. But most eyes are fixated on one state.
“For democratic hopes to take control of the Senate, it now relies on Georgia," said Allen Bolar, Political Science Professor at Bakersfield College.
Before election day, democrats hoped to take control of the Senate by picking up wins in states like South Carolina, Iowa, and Montana. But none of those panned out. Democrats did pick up much-needed wins in Arizona and Colorado, but they need two more seats if Biden wins. That’s where Georgia’s two Senate seats come into play.
“If neither of the candidates gets to 50%, you have a runoff, and it looks like that may be what’s going to happen," Bolar said.
Bolar is talking about two contentious Georgia races that may decide which party takes control. Both races have incumbent Republicans vying to fight off Democrat challengers. The Associated Press says that with 97% of the votes counted, nobody in either race is yet to secure the 50% needed to win. Although the race between incumbent David Perdue is very close. AP had him at 49.99% of the vote as of Thursday afternoon.
“If you’re a Republican and you don’t like democratic policies, then you would be desperate to hold on to that one elected branch," Bolar said.
With Joe Biden appearing to have an advantage in the presidential race, and Democrats already controlling the House, Bolar says the Senate could be Republicans' best chance to make sure that future laws would need to filter through at least one Republican institution. If both Georgia races go to a runoff, Bolar says he doesn't have high hopes for Democrats.
“I think those are uphill battles, but I think they’re going to be close. But I wouldn’t feel very confident about them if I was the democrats, Bolar said.
There is still one more senate race that hasn’t been called in North Carolina. But the Republican there does have a healthy lead. The Associated Press says result updates are expected tonight in Georgia, but we do not have an exact time and are not sure how much to expect.