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How You Can Sway Georgia’s Senate Runoffs

November 12th, 2020 by dk

It took more than a week to have confirmed what looked likely soon after the election. Republicans will maintain control of the U.S. Senate, unless Democrats can somehow win two runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5, 2021.

Democrats had their eye on unseating David Perdue during this cycle. When Johnny Isakson stepped down a year ago, Georgia governor Brian Kemp appointed Kelly Loeffler to fill his seat on an interim basis, setting up a Georgia twofer. Georgia law requires a runoff when no candidate wins the majority of votes in November. Perdue faces Jon Ossoff again and Loeffler will be challenged by Rev. Raphael Warnock.

How Washington operates for the next two years has everything to do with the outcome of those two races. If Democrats are unable to capture both, Joe Biden will be the first Democrat to enter the White House without his party fully controlling Congress since Grover Cleveland in 1885.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell famously told a think tank audience in 2010 that his first goal as leader was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. He had only two years to try to accomplish that. If either Perdue or Loeffler successfully defends their Senate seat in January, McConnell may have four years to obstruct Biden’s agenda.

Emboldened by Republicans’ unexpectedly strong showings last week, some wonder whether McConnell will allow any federal judges to be confirmed for the next two years. Refusing to hold hearings on Merrick Garland and then rushing Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court bench did not seem to bother McConnell’s supporters at all.

Over a thousand executive branch appointments require the Senate’s consent. McConnell and a Republican majority could leave every one of those seats vacant, forcing Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to take desperate measures. The uglier it gets, the better Republicans’ prospects may be in 2022 and 2024.

What can you do to prevent this outcome? Hope is not a plan. If Michael Bloomberg has taught us anything, it’s that sending money won’t work. Phone banking can now be done from anywhere, but if you don’t have a southern twang, Georgia residents won’t want to hear from you.

Do you really, really want to sway these runoff elections? Move. Move to Georgia.

Anyone with a permanent Georgia address and a Georgia drivers license by Dec. 7 can register to vote in the January election. Early voting begins Dec. 14. Absentee ballots can be requested next week, in case you’ve already made holiday plans.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting you pretend to move to Georgia, just so you can vote. That would be fraud and it would be illegal. That said, there’s nothing to prevent you from changing your mind later and moving back. When Donald Trump moved his official residence to Florida, he didn’t have to sell his New York penthouse. You can always come back if you don’t like it there.

If you’re retired, or unemployed, or teleworking, consider whether the Peach State is calling you. I’ve heard Savannah is lovely in winter.


Don Kahle ( writes a column each Friday for The Register-Guard and archives past columns at

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