The national election on Nov. 3 decided that Joe Biden would be the next American president. The Georgia runoff election for two U.S. Senate seats on Jan. 5 will determine whether Biden can get some crucial things done for the country or if Sen. Mitch McConnell will continue to stand in the way.

If Georgians choose to send the two Democratic challengers to Washington, D.C., the Senate will be split evenly, 50-50, between the two parties and, with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrats will win control. If even one of Georgia’s two incumbent GOP senators wins re-election, however, Republicans will stay in power and McConnell will remain majority leader.

When Barack Obama first took office in 2009, McConnell vowed to make him a one-term president. He failed in that goal, but, once Republicans took back the Senate in the 2010 midterms, McConnell was able to stymie most of Obama’s legislative plans. He likely will do the same to Biden’s agenda if he has the chance.

November’s election result saved the country from four more years of President Donald Trump’s assault on the norms of American law and democracy. Now, citizens in 49 states are on the sidelines as voters in Georgia decide if the country will have expanded health care, a more rational immigration system, a comprehensive plan to battle climate change and an economy that serves someone besides the very rich. If McConnell’s cronies come out on top in Georgia, none of that will happen.

Amid a flurry of wildly erroneous right-wing conspiracy theories, GOP propaganda equating Democrats with Socialists, a battle between Republicans who claim Trump was cheated out of victory in November and Republicans who acknowledge it was a fair election, and a flood of campaign cash to candidates on both sides, Georgians are going to the polls in record numbers.

It’s another nail biter of an election that will, for good or ill, touch the life of every one of us.

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