GOP Abandons Trump; Sets Sights on Senate Races

With the Electoral College casting their votes, and electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president, respectively, (with no faithless electors!) Joe Biden’s victory is nearly solidified. Trump, unsurprisingly, continues to allege that election fraud took place, and continues to work with his legal team on his increasingly shrinking ways to claim victory. The end, however, appears to be nigh for Trump, and the Republican Party looks to be abandoning Trump’s desperate efforts to steal a second term.

In the immediate aftermath of the national election, the GOP opened a hotline for cases of election fraud to be reported, then investigated, as well as opening a fund for people to donate to, which would then be used to pay for recounts and for legal fees. The hotline has since closed, and the party seems to have all but cut their losses when it comes to the presidential election, and instead allocated their resources towards maintaining a Senate majority for the Republicans.

In 2008, when President Obama was elected to a first term, the Democratic Party gained control of both chambers of Congress, as well as the presidency, ensuring a unified government across the board. With this, the Democrats were able to put forth Obama’s promised legislation such as “Obamacare” and the “ARRA”, both of which are considered major accomplishments for his presidencies. In contrast, the Republican Party took control of both chambers of Congress during Obama’s second term, resulting in a great loss in legislative power.

I use the Obama Administration as an example of a presidency which is likely to put forth legislation most similar to that of the Biden Administration, hence, a unified government for Joe Biden’s presidency is something that the GOP is taking careful measures to avoid by casting support for the two Republican candidates for the US Senate runoff elections in Georgia. The current Senate numbers give the Republicans a 52-50 majority. If Democrats manage to win both seats, any 50-50 tie in the Senate will be broken by Vice-President elect, Kamala Harris, essentially giving a very narrow lead - but a lead, nonetheless - in the Senate to the Democrats.

If the Republicans manage to keep just one seat, any critical legislation put to the floor of Congress can likely be stopped by the Senate, however this puts the party in a very limited position in terms of introducing conservative policy. Similar to the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, this appears to be a difficult time for the GOP in which there will almost certainly be a lull in the party’s control of the government - the Senate is the party’s last chance for the foothold, and it’s critical for them to maintain it.

Many staunch Trump supporters feel that the GOP has somehow “betrayed” Trump by no longer making an active effort to keep him in office, and many right-wing extremist groups have called for Trump supporters to boycott the Runoff elections in Georgia out of spite for the party. Suffice it to say, there is great division in the party between those who believe that Trump can still pull out a win by subverting the electoral college’s vote total, and the group that believes it is truly time for the party to cut their losses, and focus on the upcoming elections. If the Democrats gain control of the Senate, Trump supporters, and by extension Trump, are very likely to be the scapegoat, as one can make the claim that the election upheaval pulled resources away from the race in Georgia.