The stakes could not be clearer: Democratic victories in Georgia’s Senate races this January would give President-elect Joe Biden a chance to pass a meaningful legislative agenda. Voting rights, pandemic relief, a public option, paid family leave and multitrillion-dollar investments in clean energy and infrastructure are all on the table.
If Democratic candidates for Senate Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff lose, Biden will be limited to executive orders and have to negotiate with Republicans to keep the lights on. To be clear, Biden has won an absolute majority of the popular vote. He is also the seventh Democratic candidate out of the last eight presidential elections to win more votes than their opponent.
Democratic House of Representatives candidates have similarly won a majority of nationwide votes, keeping them in control. Democratic senators will represent 20 million more Americans than their colleagues across the aisle, falling short of controlling the chamber because the median state is more red than the median voter.
We are a divided nation, but let us not exaggerate the closeness of that divide. Approximately 60 percent of Florida voters decided to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour even as most chose President Donald J. Trump.
Clean energy mandates passed in Nevada. Paid family leave passed in Colorado. Arizonans voted to hike taxes on the rich to fund salaries for public school teachers. Legal weed reached a record high as every state with marijuana reform on the ballot, from South Dakota to New Jersey, voted for it.
Medicaid expansion was not on the ballot anywhere this year, but in the past few years voters in only 1 of 8 mostly conservative states have rejected Medicaid expansion. All of this is to say that Democrats have a mandate to enact necessary and proper measures to fight the pandemic, transition to clean energy and build