Why Do the Democrats Need a 51-Seat Majority in the Senate?

A 50–50 Senate has limitations and with the House under Republican control, it is important that Sen. Warnock win the runoff election

Dr. Zach Zachariah
5 min readDec 4, 2022

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Collage created by the author. Free Wikimedia Images: Walker, Warnock

Democrats flipped the Pennsylvania senate seat in the November 2022 midterms, keeping the party in control of the Senate. There is one senate seat yet to be decided. Since neither candidate, Rev. Raphael Warnock (D), nor Herschel Walker (R) received 50% of the total votes, a runoff election has been scheduled for December 6, 2022, in Georgia. Warnock led Walker by less than 1% votes, 49.4% vs, 48.5% in the midterm elections, while a third libertarian candidate garnered 2.1% of the share of votes.

How can Warnock win the runoff election?

If Warnock is to win in the runoff election, he must get at least 46% of the votes cast for the libertarian candidate. There is no guarantee that those voters will even turn out to cast their ballots in the runoff. Warnock has a clear path to victory if more blacks, urban voters, and young people vote. Since the Democrats already control the Senate, many Republican voters may not turn out because they feel that their vote no longer matters.

Exit polls show that despite Walker being a flawed candidate, 71% of white men and 68% of white women chose him over Warnock, while 90% of black Georgians chose Warnock. Urban voters overwhelmingly (68%) voted for Warnock. Voters aged 18–44 also favored Warnock by a margin of two to one. Warnock has a battle-tested turnout operation that has now performed well over three elections, the 2020 general election, the 2021 runoff, and the 2022 midterm.

Walker could still win

In the midterm polls, Walker trailed Warnock by just over 37,600 votes. If half of the third-party candidate’s voters turn out and cast their vote for Walker, he could easily erase the deficit. In the mid-term elections, Governor Brian Kemp had a blow-out victory over his Democratic opponent, Stacy Abrams. Yet, 200,000 fewer voters chose Walker, who was on the down-ballot. Kemp is now campaigning for Walker which could prompt some of his supporters to come out and vote in the runoff election. Georgia is…

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Dr. Zach Zachariah

Ph.D. chemist with an M.B.A. | Enrolled Agent | Writes on science | economy | taxes | public interest topics | American politics | Indian-Americans | COVID-19