Why does a Warnock win still matter even though Democrats again control the Senate? Let us count the ways.
A Warnock win means no power-sharing. A tied Senate governs with a power share agreement, where Republicans get an equal split with Democrats on committee membership. With 51, Dems have a majority on committees. No more “going nuclear” deadlocks, no more discharge petitions for floor votes. That massively accelerates both the legislative process and the confirmation process (think: judges—INCLUDING SCOTUS).
A Warnock win protects against Dem “rogue votes.” The individual power of the two Democratic chaos agents (Manchin and Sinema) is drastically reduced. BOTH of them will now need to be opposed to whatever Dems are trying to do in order to block progress. This means that legislation that Manchin often held up (child care, paid leave, college funding, etc.) will have a great shot at getting passed.
The Senate is a gerontocracy. There are illnesses, absences—even deaths. A Democratic senator could die in a state with a Republican governor—who then appoints a Republican replacement. Given the Senate requires voting in-person, a 51-49 Senate vs. a 50-50 one means room for up to two absences/no votes.
A 51-49 majority means that VP Harris won't be required to be in DC for Senate votes all the time, and she can be deployed for both policy and campaigning far more than she has been in the last two years.
A Warnock win is a down payment on the future. 2024 presents a host of challenges for the Democrats, with 21 Senate seats up for election vs. Republicans' 10. It’s a MUCH tougher Senate map for Democrats next go-around.
51 Senators affects more than just this Congress. Senators serve for six years. That means that the winner of this election will lock this seat up for the next several years.
The upshot? Work for Warnock just as hard as you would if you thought that Senate control depended on it. Because at some point in the next two years—it very well could.