If Purdue and Loeffler are re-elected, Trump will take the credit for the narrow 52-48 majority over which McConnell will continue to preside. If they lose, he will blame the governor, the attorney general, state election officials, Dominion, and Republican politicians around the country who have refused to go along with his last-ditch efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election. And he will almost certainly use what remains of his considerable influence over the Republican base to encourage a challenge to McConnell’s leadership of the GOP Senate minority.

On the eve of the runoff it is impossible to say anything with confidence about the outcome. Most of the polls show both Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, with narrow leads that fall within the margin of error. These polls include Trafalgar, the upstart right-leaning polling operation that proved to be more accurate than many of its competitors in the 2020 presidential election. If both Democrats win, the Senate will find itself split 50-50, making Kamala Harris the most consequential vice president in recent American history. If a sizable number of Georgia voters split their tickets, a bizarre but not entirely remote possibility, Republicans would remain a majority in name only, vulnerable to a single defection.