Chances Dwindling for Democrat-Controlled Senate

Aidan Lewis '21, News Editor

The battle for control of the Senate may come down solely to the state of Georgia as Republican incumbents were able to defeat numerous Democratic challengers in key states. Democrats viewed the 2020 election as a way to regain control of the Senate with 35 of 100 seats up for reelection. Out of the 35 seats Democrats held 12 while Republicans controlled 23. Tens of millions of dollars were poured into Democratic candidates in hopes of unseating Republican incumbents including South Carolina Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison, who raised a record-breaking $57 million in his attempt to unseat Senator Lindsey Graham. 

However, Democratic attempts to defeat Republican incumbents faltered in many states, most notably Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Democrats were able to win GOP-held seats in both Arizona and Colorado as U.S. Navy Captain and retired astronaut Mark Kelly and former Governor John Hickenlooper picked up huge victories. Currently, the Senate is tied with both Democrats and Republicans controlling 48 seats, while four races are still undecided. With that being said, Senate races in Alaska and North Carolina are expected to go to the Republican candidate, which will give the GOP a 50-48 majority with one state left. Both Georgia elections are headed to a run-off on January 5. If Democrats win both races, the Senate will be tied 50-50 with the Vice President holding the tie-breaking vote.

At Saint Patrick High School, students and teachers are paying close attention to the remaining Senate races. “The Senate is a key aspect of being a successful President because if we have a Republican President they wouldn’t be able to do as much with a Democratic Senate and vice versa,” explained Saint Patrick senior Seamus Courtney. With major news outlets reporting early Saturday morning that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the presidential election, control of the Senate becomes vitally important to a Biden presidency. “If Republicans can maintain control of the Senate then I don’t see Joe Biden being as successful,” Courtney said. “I believe Joe Biden wants to make some serious changes and winning the Senate is key.”

Saint Patrick social justice teacher Mr. Nicholas Filipiak is looking forward to the new administration. “I take him (Biden) at his word – he will be a Democrat, but an American president,” Mr. Filipiak shared. “He’s also a Catholic, whose values align with the classes I teach.” Mr. Filipiak believes Vice President-elect Harris will be good for the country too. “She represents several demographic groups whose times have been coming for a long while,” he said. As for Biden’s plan to tackle the problems caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Filipiak believes the president-elect isn’t wasting any time addressing a major concern for many Americans, stating “Biden has already assembled teams of scientists, economists, and business leaders, in order to run the country on best practices.”