Biden could lose Georgia Senate races all by himself

Biden could lose Georgia Senate races all by himself
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Joe BidenJoe BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 MORE won the White House, but he personally could lose the two Senate races coming up in Georgia on Jan. 5. Why? Because the president-elect, who brilliantly hid out in his basement for months and refused to take a firm stand on important issues such as fracking and packing the Supreme Court, will finally have to show his cards.

When he does that, he will alienate some in either the progressive faction or the moderate faction of his own party who are already fighting for control of the incoming administration.

He will, in effect, split his party, splintering too the coalition in Georgia and elsewhere that won him the election.


Over the next several weeks, as he puts together his Cabinet and prepares to take office, Biden will signal the direction of his White House. Is he really on board with the “unity platform” he crafted with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy MORE (I-Vt.), or was that collaboration just aimed at getting the Bernie Bros to show up on Election Day?

Will he welcome Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy Warren says Republican Party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' MORE (D-Mass.) into his Cabinet, alienating the big banks and private equity firms that funded his campaign? Will he side with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' Deleted video shows Greene taunting Ocasio-Cortez's office in 2019 MORE (D-N.Y.) in her spat with fellow Democrat Joe ManchinJoe ManchinFormer OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans Jill Biden, Jennifer Garner go mask-free on vaccine-promoting West Virginia trip MORE, who is vowing to block what he calls her “crazy socialist agenda” or join the West Virginia senator in disavowing the Green New Deal and other leftist policies?

All of this will matter to voters in Georgia who came out for Biden in record numbers even as the Peach State electorate, like all other Americans, had little idea what Biden stood for. Most likely, as with Democrats elsewhere, they were not voting for the former vice president as much as they were voting against President TrumpDonald TrumpVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected Biden meets with DACA recipients on immigration reform Overnight Health Care: States begin lifting mask mandates after new CDC guidance | Walmart, Trader Joe's will no longer require customers to wear masks | CDC finds Pfizer, Moderna vaccines 94 percent effective in health workers MORE

Biden’s stealth campaign was geared to not alienating a single soul who was fed up with our disruptive president or anxious about the coronavirus. The Democratic Party, to its credit, hewed to that narrow message, giving Republicans little opportunity to exploit the wedge that existed all along.

That was then. Now, Democrats are gearing up for a massive brawl. They are pointing fingers at one another, trying to explain how they could win the White House but do so poorly in congressional races.


Progressives say that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGohmert says Jan. 6 mob attack on Capitol not an 'armed insurrection' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' GOP Rep. Turner to lead House push to address military sexual assault MORE’s (D-Calif.) interview highlighting her sub-zero refrigerator and expensive ice cream cost Democrats seats in the House. Moderates say that giving so much airtime and deference to progressives such as AOC and her “squad” undermined centrist Democrats in toss-up seats, many of whom lost.

They are both right, but they overlook the critical issue. When AOC said many months ago that in a different country she would not even be in the same party as Biden, she was correct.

Democrats have made their tent so large that the seams are ripping apart. No tent was meant to hold Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDeleted video shows Greene taunting Ocasio-Cortez's office in 2019 Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy Project Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report MORE, the leftist Democrat from Minneapolis, and Rep. Collin PetersonCollin Clark Peterson Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Six ways to visualize a divided America On The Trail: The political losers of 2020 MORE, the Blue Dog Democrat from Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District, one of only two Democrats to vote against Trump’s impeachment.

Peterson, who had represented his rural district for 30 years, was forced out of the tent; he was toppled by Republican Michelle Fischbach on Nov. 3.

David PerdueDavid PerdueGeorgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' Warnock raises nearly M since January victory Georgia's top election official looks to shake political drama MORE and Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' Loeffler asks Georgia attorney general to investigate Raffensperger over 2020 election Former Rep. Doug Collins won't enter Georgia Senate race MORE, the two Republican senators running for reelection in Georgia, will try to capitalize on the split in the Democratic Party. They will cast their rivals as far left and tie them to unpopular policies such as the Green New Deal, defunding the police and packing the Supreme Court. They will emphasize that unless the GOP retains control of the Senate, a liberal wish list will sail through Congress and become law. They know not all Democrats will sign up for that.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-N.Y.) gave Republicans a great opening right off the bat, proclaiming at an Election Day celebration, “Now we take Georgia. Then we change America.”

Perdue, an incumbent facing off against challenger Jon OssoffJon OssoffDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Senate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill MORE, jumped on Schumer’s pledge in his first TV ad, which says: “The Schumer, Pelosi, Ossoff change? Defund police. Voting rights for illegal immigrants. Washington, D.C., as the 51st state.”

Ossoff’s first ad, interestingly, follows the Biden campaign playbook. In it, he bashes Perdue for supporting Trump and for mismanaging the coronavirus. With Trump on the exit ramp and a coronavirus vaccine in view, it will be interesting to see whether this message continues to resonate.

As Biden’s policies tiptoe into public view, Georgians may be horrified to learn just how the president-elect might try to tame the virus. Michael Osterholm, a member of Biden’s task force, recently advocated for a four-to-six-week nationwide lockdown, saying it would help bring COVID-19 under control.

Osterholm explained that the devastation such a lockdown would cause could be overcome through massive government borrowing and spending, effectively putting our economy on life support until the vaccine becomes available.

Osterholm may be an expert in infectious diseases, but he is not an economist and apparently not too swift at assessing human behavior. Recent Gallup polling shows Americans’ appetite for more lockdowns cratering as more people (82 percent, up from 64 percent in the spring) deem themselves capable of avoiding infection.   

Officials trying to reimpose lockdowns in France, Germany, Italy and Spain faced riots; the same could happen here.

Perdue and Loeffler, who is competing against Democrat Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Georgia senators introduce measure allowing voters to have access to water while waiting Cruz outspending other senators on Facebook ads: report MORE in the state’s special election for another Senate seat, will campaign not so much against their rivals but against the left’s agenda. They will work to win over centrist Democrats who may have voted for Biden but who do not agree with the AOC wish list.

Perdue and Loeffler will run against “changing America”; my guess is they will win.

Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.