By Greg Argos

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The outcome of the Georgia Senate runoff elections determines whether or not President-elect Joe Biden’s Democratic party controls both houses of Congress. Republicans need to win just one of the races to hold onto control of the Senate.

If you had any doubt of the importance of the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election, perhaps both the president and president-elect campaigning in the Peach State gives you an idea.

“It’s consequential for the nation and for Pennsylvania,” said Committee of Seventy President and CEO David Thornburgh.

Thornburgh says that’s because the outcome of these close runoff elections determines whether or not President-elect Biden’s Democratic party controls both houses of Congress.

“If the Democrats win both of those seats, then they win the Senate,” Thornburgh said. “Biden won both Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, so to the extent that folks here are supportive of his agenda, it will be a lot easier for him to accomplish that agenda with a majority in the U.S. Senate.”

That is why there has been so much focus on an election in a state some 800 miles to our south with Pennsylvania volunteers on both sides of the aisle offering their time to help get the vote out in Georgia.

“It’s pretty extraordinary. I’ve never seen this in my lifetime,” said Thornburgh. “Our politics have all become nationalized now so that the entire country feels like it has a stake in Georgia’s election.”

Because of that Thornburgh estimates half a billion dollars have been spent in this runoff election.

“I think it’s way out of control,” he said.

And he believes we could see a similar situation play out here in Pennsylvania in the next two years.

“Might be a taste of things to come here in Pennsylvania because in 2022 we’ll have an open Senate race since Sen. [Pat] Toomey has announced his retirement. So on that standpoint, just hold on tight,” Thornburgh said.

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