While most people were focused on the presidential elections, far more interesting IMO was the US Senate elections and the “race for 60”. Briefly, of the 100 US Senators, 50 are required for a majority but 60 are required for a “filibuster proof majority” through which any sort of legislation can be rammed through regardless of dissent from the opposing party.
As of midnight of election day itself, the polls stood at 56 Democratic Senators (including independants Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman in the count) to 40 Republican Senators with 4 election races on the knife edge. As of today, Oregon has been called for the Democrats, Alaska is still counting mail in and absentee votes, Minnesota is going into a mandatory recount and Georgia is going into a mandatory runoff.
There are signs that Alaska could be called for the Democrats in which cases the Democrats would have already grabbed two for two of the swing seats.
Where it gets really interesting is if Minnesota is either called for the Democrats or is still mired in recount and legal woes by December 2nd, at which time Georgia will hold it’s runoff voting. If this is the case, Georgia might just become the most unanticipated important election of the year in terms of how much effect each voter could have.
If Georgia becomes the battleground for the filibuster proof majority, expect the see the might of both the Democratic and Republican National Committee to descend with full force for the biggest get out to vote efforts ever seen.
There are a few things that make me optimistic about the Democrats’ chances in Georgia. For one, the Democrats have conclusively proved that their ground game far outranked the Republicans in the general election and all that infrastructure is still in place. For two, the most lucrative pool of voters to chase after is those of the Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley who drew support away from the Democratic candidate more than the Republican one.
A series of relatively unlikely series of events need to happen for such a scenario to occur but it seems to be not beyond the pale to think that such an election could end up happening. If so, be prepared for a piece of political theatre that will be to the general election what Applejack is to cider.