A Post Thanksgiving Political Potluck – “The Sunday Political Brunch”—November 29, 2020

Sunday, November 29, 2020


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Joe Biden, one and done?

I’m stuffed. No, not just from the turkey dinner, but from all the political stuff to munch on this month. It’s been a buffet of all kinds of things to sample. So, let’s “brunch” on that this week!


“Georgia (Remains) On My Mind” – You’ll recall that last week I wrote about all the implications for the two runoff elections for the U.S. Senate in Georgia on January 5, 2021. Control of the Senate is at stake. I know it sounds cliché, but this is really one of those elections where turnout really matters. Let’s face it, nothing else is on the ballot other than these two Senate races. It seems like folks would vote a straight party ticket for Democrat or Republican. I mean can you really imagine, people voting for a Republican in one race, but voting for the Democrat in the other? Maybe among people registered as independents, but not the partisans.



“The Racial Issue” – Here are the demographics of Georgia: 71 percent white (including Hispanics), 27 percent black, and 2 percent other. In one Senate race, it’s likely that race won’t matter. Sen. David Perdue (R) Georgia and his challenger John Ossoff (D) Georgia are both white. But in the other contest it’s Sen. Kelley Loeffler (R) Georgia, versus Rev. Ralph Warnock (D) Georgia, who is African American.


“Who Has the Leverage?” -- As I’ve said, I anticipate registered Democrats and Republicans to vote the party line in both races. But, with lingering vestiges of racism in the Deep South, one can imagine independent whites circling the wagons for Sen. Loeffler, with independent blacks voting for Warnock. It could be a split decision. The bottom line – Democrats need to win both seats to win control of the U.S. Senate. The key, for each party, is getting their rank and file members out to vote. This race will be largely decided by turnout.


“The House Rules” – On Tuesday another Democratic U.S. House seat flipped to the GOP. Rep-elect David Valadao (R) California beat Rep. T.J. Cox (D) California. Right now, that leaves the U.S. House 222 Democrats to 210 Republicans, with three races still too close to call. Traditionally, the party in power loses seats in the House in the first midterm election. So, Republicans really need to win a net-gain of only eight votes to retake the lower chamber from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It’s a very likely possibility, as the 2022 midterms will be a referendum on the first two years of the Biden administration.


“The Transition” – Many are wondering about how Georgia went from being a solidly red state, to a decidedly purple state. According to the Washington Post, much of it lies in Georgia implementing an automatic voter registration law in 2016. Prior to then, 22 percent of eligible voters were not registered. Now only 2 percent remain unregistered. The bottom line, voter turnout was 67 percent this year, the highest in history. Increased voter registration means that historically marginalized or disenfranchised groups (typically the poor and minorities), came out to vote.


“Her Versus Her” – For all the people going crazy over pronoun identification, please forgive me. But here’s my next prediction. Joe Biden will only serve one-term as president, and will cede the nomination to Vice President Kamala Harris in 2024. The Republican nominee will be former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. The also former Gov. Haley, (R) South Carolina is Indian American. Harris is half Indian American and Jamaican American. It could make for a fascinating race!


“Another Kennedy Book” – Countless books have been written about the Kennedy political family, but I want to recommend the latest. The Primary that Made a President by Dr. Robert Rupp is a fascinating read. Rupp is a Professor of Political Science and History at West Virginia Wesleyan College. The premise of his book is the 1960 Democratic Primary in West Virginia, that pitted Senator John Kennedy (D) Massachusetts, against Senator Hubert Humphrey (D) Minnesota. Kennedy, a Catholic, was trying to win a state that was only four percent Catholic. If he failed to win West Virginia, his bid for the White House was over. Kennedy spent a lot of time and money in the Mountain State, (including a decisive TV debate), and he won.

The Primary that Made a President is available at HERE.


What issues would you like to see the new Congress and new president focus on in 2021? Leave a comment below.


Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the six Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia, its five neighboring states and most of the Washington, DC media market. He is a MINDSETTER columnist for www.GoLocalProv.com and its affiliates.

I’m stuffed. No, not just from the turkey dinner, but from all the political stuff to munch on this month. It’s been a buffet of all kinds of things to sample. So, let’s “brunch” on that this week!


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