To hear Brenda Robertson tell it, Georgia needs someone like
Raphael Warnock in the Senate.
“It was so important to get over here and do this today,” Robertson,
68, told MarketWatch in an Election Day interview outside a polling station in
Chatham County on Tuesday.
Robertson, like other voters in her county and around the Peach State, was casting her ballot in pivotal elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate and thus how far President-elect Joe Biden can push his agenda.
Tight contests are expected as Democratic challengers Jon
Ossoff and Warnock are facing off against Republicans David Perdue and Kelly
Loeffler. If the Republicans win just one of the seats, they’ll remain in the
Senate majority and put a check on the agenda of Biden and the Democratic-run
House of Representatives.
Chatham County, with Savannah as its largest city, voted heavily
in favor of Democrats during the November election — a switch from its long
history of supporting Republican candidates.
On Tuesday, residents were out in force in the county, where
MarketWatch visited two polling locations.
Fifty-six-year-old Herbert Chaplin got to Jonesville Baptist
Church in Savannah at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, and said he wanted to make sure he
cast his ballot before it was too late.
“That one vote I cast is going to count, and I make sure
since I was 18 years old that I always get my vote in,” said the Democrat.
Outside the church, a DJ was playing a mixture of hip-hop and R&B.
Both Biden and President Donald Trump visited the state to rally voters on Monday. Some Chatham County residents, however, needed no prodding.
“The only thing that would have stopped me from voting today
was the Lord,” said Johnny Simpson, a 60-year-old retiree, who voted at
Jonesville Baptist Church.
At a polling station at a Salvation Army on Bee Road in Savannah, election official Sharon Chisholm was watching a steady stream of voters and observed that “the whole nation has its eyes on Georgia.”
Though betting markets and polls gave the edge to Democrats
on the eve of the runoffs, not all observers are convinced.
“Veda’s base case expectation continues to be that
Republicans will win the two Georgia Senate seats,” wrote Henrietta Treyz,
director of economic policy at Veda Partners, in a note on Tuesday.