Trump and US on edge as Democrats, ahead in Georgia run-off elections, on verge of trifecta – Times of India

WASHINGTON: Democrats in the US are on the verge of gaining control of the US Senate after winning one run-off in Georgia and establishing a narrow lead in another in a replay of the Presidential elections.
The partial results, which strengthened the hands of the Democratic Party and is a setback to President Donald Trump and his insurgent supporters who continue to ply bogus charges election fraud, came even as a joint session of the US Congress convened in the capital to formally recognize Joe Biden as the country’s 46th President.
Agitated Trump loyalists gathered outside the White House for a “stop the steal” rally the defeated President is expected to address, even though from all accounts it is Trump who is trying to steal a second term.
As it happened with the Presidential elections, the defeated President began claiming fraud in the Georgia elections once the tide began to turn against incumbent Republicans after they jumped into early leads.
Sitting GOP Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were leading by 100,000 and 80,000 votes respectively with 90 per cent votes counted, but Democrats were confident their candidates Raphael Warnock and Job Ossoff would overcome the deficit when votes from the black-majority Atlanta metro region was counted.

As that began to happen, Trump tweeted, “Looks like they are setting up a big “voter dump” against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?” followed by “Just happened to have found another 4000 ballots from Fulton County. Here we go!” He also retweeted unsubstantiated fraud charges by his supporters even though Republican officials in Georgia said the election was clean.
As it turned out, Warnock comfortably defeated Loeffler by over 50,000 votes while Ossoff was leading Perdue by 16,000 votes, a less than 0.5 per cent margin, which will allow a recount.
Pushing back against Trump’s charges of electoral fraud was the result of another statewide election in which Republican Lauren Bubba McDonald retained his public service commissioner office against a Democratic opponent, polling more votes than Perdue and Loeffler.
The Trump tactic — embraced by his racist and conspiratorial supporters — was the same he deployed in several closely fought states during the Presidential election: claim victory on the basis of early leads from white majority rural counties, and reject votes that are counted later from more diverse metro areas with large black populations — such as Atlanta in Georgia, Detroit in Michigan, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.
As the Senate loss became clear on Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted, “They just happened to find 50,000 ballots late last night. The US is embarrassed by fools. Our Election Process is worse than that of third world countries!”

Democrats gaining control of the Senate (in addition to winning the White House and the House of Representative) with two wins in Georgia will have profound consequences.
The incoming Biden White House and the party will now find it easier to push through their political and economic agenda as they take over leadership of committees, including Senate panels tasked with confirming cabinet, judicial, and ambassadorial appointments.
It will also mean Kamala Harris will become one of the most consequential vice-presidents in history, wielding a tie-breaker vote in a Senate locked at 50-50.
Democratic control of Senate will also reduce powerful Republican lawmakers like Mitch McConnell to minority status in a Grand Old Party that is already sundered with Trump and his insurgents, including 14 Senators, railing against some 30+ moderate Republicans who do not agree with Trump’s effort to steal a second term.

The President’s son Eric Trump issued a blunt warning to Republican lawmakers who are not supporting his father, tweeting, “I will personally work to defeat every single Republican Senator/Congressman who doesn’t stand up against this fraud – they will be primaried in their next election and they will lose.”

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