Who cares about Trump v Biden? Senate is the key
The principal impact of the election overall, and its effect on our lives, personal and business, depends on the outcome in the Senate. Which party gains control is the issue.
Assuming Joe Biden wins, as now seems likely, notwithstanding a potential flood of litigation from Donald Trump, the Democrats will control the White House and the House of Representatives, albeit with a reduced majority. The Democrats and the Republicans each have 48 seats in the Senate at this point with four not yet resolved — North Carolina, Alaska and two in Georgia.
In North Carolina, senator Thom Tillis holds a lead of about 100,000 votes — 48.7 per cent of the vote. He is likely to win.
In Alaska, Dan Sullivan, the Republican candidate, has 62.5 per cent of the vote with somewhat more than half counted. Another estimated 130,000 absentee and early ballots will not be counted until next week. Although the race has not been called, it is looking good for Sullivan.
If the Republicans win those two seats, they will have 50 Senate seats compared with 48 for the Democrats, with the two Georgia seats unresolved. In Georgia, to win a candidate must get and least 50 per cent of the vote. If no one gets 50 per cent or more, the top two candidates have a run-off election to be held on January 5 in this election cycle.
Republican David Perdue is leading in his race, but is a drop below 50 per cent. Likely will have a run-off. Appointed senator Kelly Loeffler will not make the 50 per cent threshold in her contest and will definitely face a run-off. If, as most expect, Perdue and Loeffler win their run-offs, Republicans should come away with a total of 52 Senate seats; a clear majority.
But if they win only two of the four seats still in play, there would be a 50-50 split with Vice-President Kamala Harris the tie-breaker. Under this scenario, the Democrats could jam the Supreme Court, get all their judicial and cabinet appointees easily confirmed, change the Senate legislative filibuster rule, and enact all matter of legislation, including tax hikes, healthcare issues, recession of Trump-era rules and regulations, climate change, etc.
A Republican majority in the Senate is the blocker. And, with Mitch McConnell in the driver’s seat, the Democrats would have to negotiate with a savvy veteran to get appointments confirmed and legislation enacted.
The Senate is the key to what lies ahead for us.
Stuart E. Seigel is Senior Consultant to The Dilenschneider Group. He has served as Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service and in several other posts in the Federal Government. He also engaged in the private practice of law in Washington and New York