December 7, 2022

With 98% of the returns in, Sen. Raphael Warnock won reelection yesterday with 51.4% of the vote. Via the New York Times:

ATLANTA — Senator Raphael Warnock, basking in cheers of “six more years” and the glory of a hard-fought re-election victory, evoked the civil rights movement late Tuesday night as he praised Georgians, whether they voted for him or not, for rising above the “folks trying to divide our country.”

In a contest that pitted Mr. Warnock’s calls for the healing of racial inequities against Herschel Walker’s view that racism does not exist, the Democratic senator’s victory speech was unapologetic in its evocation of past wrongs in the Deep South, even as he held out the promise of reconciliation.

“I am Georgia,” the senator said. “I am an example and an iteration of its history, of its peril and promise, of the brutality and the possibilities. But because this is America, because we always have a path to make our country greater against unspeakable odds, here we stand together.”

This means a Democratic Senate will have a lot more breathing room:

The implications for Senate Democrats and the Biden administration extend well beyond the single Senate slot. With an additional vote, Democrats can take much more operational control of the Senate, easing the confirmation of contentious nominees, clearing the way for investigations and in general availing themselves of breathing room on a variety of matters.

“It makes all the difference in the world,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which would find its work filling judicial vacancies to be much less fraught with a bigger majority.

A larger Democratic contingent will give the party a one-seat advantage on congressional committees that are now evenly split, a situation that allows minority Republicans to maintain significant leverage over legislation and other business. As a result, some administration nominees have stalled in committee, while others have made it out only through a special floor procedure that costs Democrats time. Having an edge on the committees will allow Democrats to overcome Republican opposition, if they can hold together.

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