CommunityElections

Control of Senate Might Not Be Determined for Months

This election control of the United States Senate hangs in the balance, but there is a good chance we won’t know which party ends up in control until possibly next year.

At this point the polling indicates whichever party eventually wins control in the Senate will do so by only the slimmest of margins, so every single competitive race will likely matter. This means we may need to wait for the likely runoff elections in Louisiana and Georgia to know who will run the chamber.

Unlikely most other states which use a first-past-the-post system, these two states schedule a runoff election between the top two vote getters if no candidate gets over 50 percent. Polling indicates this will likely be necessary in both races.

The November election in Louisiana is technically a “jungle primary” which can feature multiple candidates from both parties. While incumbent Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Bill Cassidy are the most popular choices on the ballot, several other candidates — including Republican Rob Maness — are garnering enough support to keep anyone from getting 50 percent. So a runoff on December 6th is highly likely.

Georgia uses a different system with regular partisan primaries but the presence of Libertarian Amanda Swafford on the ballot, who is polling at around five percent, will likely keep both Republican David Perdue or Democrat Michelle Nunn just below the 50 percent mark. If that happens the runoff won’t be until January 6th.

Add to the mix two wildcard factors. First, there is Greg Orman the Independent candidate who currently leads in the Kansas Senate race. He claims his plan is to caucus with whichever party has a majority in the Senate, so he would potentially not choose sides until the last runoff is over. There is also the small possibility that Independent Maine Senator Angus King could change sides depending on the election outcome, and how Orman is leaning. While King currently caucusess with Democrats he has indicated he would be theoretically open to caucusing with Republicans.

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Control of Senate Might Not Be Determined for Months

This election control of the United States Senate hangs in the balance, but there is a good chance we won’t know which party ends up in control until possibly next year.

At this point the polling indicates whichever party eventually wins control in the Senate will do so by only the slimmest of margins, so every single competitive race will likely matter. This means we may need to wait for the likely runoff elections in Louisiana and Georgia to know who will run the chamber.

Unlikely most other states which use a first-past-the-post system, these two states schedule a runoff election between the top two vote getters if no candidate gets over 50 percent. Polling indicates this will likely be necessary in both races.

The November election in Louisiana is technically a “jungle primary” which can feature multiple candidates from both parties. While incumbent Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Bill Cassidy are the most popular choices on the ballot, several other candidates — including Republican Rob Maness — are garnering enough support to keep anyone from getting 50 percent. So a runoff on December 6th is highly likely.

Georgia uses a different system with regular partisan primaries but the presence of Libertarian Amanda Swafford on the ballot, who is polling at around five percent, will likely keep both Republican David Perdue or Democrat Michelle Nunn just below the 50 percent mark. If that happens the runoff won’t be until January 6th.

Add to the mix two wildcard factors. First, there is Greg Orman the Independent candidate who currently leads in the Kansas Senate race. He claims his plan is to caucus with whichever party has a majority in the Senate, so he would potentially not choose sides until the last runoff is over. There is also the small possibility that Independent Maine Senator Angus King could change sides depending on the election outcome, and how Orman is leaning. While King currently caucusess with Democrats he has indicated he would be theoretically open to caucusing with Republicans.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com

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