In the 2020 cycle, Democrats had to sweep both Senate runoffs in Georgia to secure the 50-50 split in the Senate that, thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ status as the tie-breaking vote, would give them control.
This time, Democrats have already retained control, with 50 seats clinched last month and Georgia representing a potential 51st.
But the stakes remain high: A win by incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock victory would give Democrats the majority outright, rather than requiring the power-sharing agreement that is now in place. That outright majority would come with significant benefits for the party. Democrats would have the majority on committees, allowing them to advance President Joe Biden’s nominees more easily.
For example, the Senate Judiciary Committee, with its 22 members, would shift from a split of 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans to 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans. That would remove a GOP procedural mechanism to slow down the confirmation of Biden’s judicial nominees.
It’s why advertising spending in the runoff has surpassed $80 million, according to a CNN analysis of data from ad tracking firm AdImpact. Democrats have outspent Republicans so far, by about $55.1 million to $25.8 million.