By this time next week it should be all over except the shouting. Maybe.

You know what I’m referring to. The election that has been going on, it seems like forever.

Chances are the election actually won’t be over for us in Georgia. As I look to the results that will trickle in over who knows how long, beginning Tuesday night, it seems highly likely that there will be a runoff needed in the special election to fill out the rest of Johnny Isakson’s term in the Senate.

Much has been made nationally over the Rev. Raphael Warnock’s big lead over two Republicans, Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins. Warnock has been polling in the 40%+ range for the last couple of weeks while Loeffler and Collins have each been in the low 20% range.

But because there are a dozen and a half other names on the ballot in that race, the likelihood of Warnock getting a 50% plus 1 majority are slim.

That means the race will extend into a runoff. And if the national polls are on target — and I wouldn’t make much of a wager on that — there is a chance the race could be a determining factor in a possible flip of the Senate to a Democratic majority. If that’s the case, money will pour into Georgia from both sides and we won’t be able to watch TV without seeing an ad for one candidate or the other at the beginning and end of every commercial break.

Personally, I’m sick of it.

I’m not sure any of this is what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

While the race for the White House continues to dominate national headlines, the various races for Senate seats that are supposedly in play are what will interest me the most Tuesday night, into Wednesday morning ... and beyond, in all probability.

If Biden wins the White House, he won’t accomplish much without Democratic control of the Senate.

Georgia is still a red state but the Democrats have a shot at swinging both seats blue. Jon Ossoff has generated millions of dollars, largely from out-of-state interests, while David Perdue has been battling allegations that he has benefited from investments in the health care industry relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both of them have been calling each other a liar.

Real gentlemanly race, this one.

Warnock certainly has a legitimate shot at either Collins or Loeffler, though I suspect that whichever Republican advances to a runoff will have a slight edge statewide.

And an interesting Senate race is taking place next door in Alabama.

Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville is ahead of the Democratic incumbent Doug Jones in just about every poll. Don’t you know there are some Republicans in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere across the state that are going to hold their nose when they punch the ballot!

I’m not sure what possessed Tuberville to get into politics, and I still don’t know what qualifies him to voters, aside from the fact that he’s carrying an R beside his name.

A race that intrigues me is the Arizona battle between Martha McSally, who is filling the term of the late Sen. John McCain, and former astronaut Mark Kelly.

Will hero worship carry the day for Kelly? He also happens to be married to former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

A couple of races pit former two-term Democratic governors against incumbent Republicans. Democrat John Hickenlooper of Colorado is seeking oust Republican Cory Gardner while Montana’s governor Steve Bullock is running against first term Republican Sen. Steven Daines.

Gardner’s work to ease some of the sanctions against marijuana and his pro-environment and public lands position may endear him to some who might otherwise vote Democratic in Colorado, but Hickenlooper has been a very popular figure in the state, which has become a darker shade of blue in the last two statewide elections.

Daines, like Gardner, has been active in bipartisan efforts on behalf of public lands. Bullock, who expanded Medicaid as governor, has been hammering away on the healthcare issue.

I think the Texas seat is still pretty safe for incumbent John Cornyn though Democrat MJ Hegar is making a bold push to oust the veteran Republican.

The Maine race is also pretty interesting. Susan Collins, the Republican incumbent, is someone I see as a fairly thoughtful woman who has occasionally riled up some of her GOP colleagues. Generally speaking, though, when the time comes to cast a vote, she has sided with her party leadership.

Democrat Sara Gideon is making a real push to shove Collins to the sideline.

Then there are the Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham races in Kentucky and South Carolina. Democrats have targeted both but I think they’re safe.

We’ll have the answers soon enough, though I’m not sure it will be Tuesday night.

The 2022 campaign will begin within the week. Ugh!

Associate Editor and business columnist Doug Walker is always looking for news and tips about area businesses. To contact Doug, email him at DWalker@RN-T.com or call 706-290-5272.

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