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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

It’s On in GA

In her article, “Georgia Senate Runoffs: More Voters Turn Out For First Day Of Early Voting Than For General Election” Jemima McEvoy writes at Forbes:

Nearly 169,000 Georgians cast ballots on Monday, the first day of early voting in the state’s Senate runoff elections—a massive number that surpasses even that of the general election’s early voting kickoff and demonstrates the wave of enthusiasm for a pair of races that will determine the makeup of the Senate.

According to data cited by voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, who has been leading the Democratic party’s efforts to rally support in Georgia, 168,293 state residents voted on Monday, which is nearly 30,000 more than the number of votes cast on the first day of day of early voting in the November general election (140,000)….Over the weekend, Abrams told CNN that the Democratic party is confident in its ability to win the two runoff elections, having already seen massive interest in absentee ballots and a surge in enthusiasm from voters whose demographics signal enthusiasm for Democratic candidates.

However, McEvoy adds, “Taking into account the 314,000 Georgians who have already cast their ballots by mail, this means over 480,000 of the state’s 10.6 million residents have voted in the Senate runoffs to date….Overall, the general election had still enticed 24% more voters by this point for a total of 633,990 votes due to the whopping 484,000 ballots sent by mail….there is no way to tell which party has cast more early votes.”

McEvoy notes that “1.2 million. That’s the number of Georgians who have requested absentee ballots for the Senate runoffs, according to Abrams….“Of that 1.2 million, 85,000 are from voters who did not vote in the general election and they are disproportionately between the ages of 18 and 29 and disproportionately people of color,” said Abrams, adding: “Democrats are prepared to win this election because this is the first runoff where we have the level of investment and engagement that it takes to win.” Further,

An average of polls on the Georgia runoffs compiled by data-focused news site FiveThirtyEight put the parties nearly neck-and-neck in both races. Ossoff leads Purdue by 1 point, while Warnock has a slightly larger lead of 1.6 over Loeffler, though pollsters warn against putting too much stock in these limited measures of public opinion. President Trump’s loss in the state, flipping Georgia blue for the first time since 1992, has also added a new level of intensity to the runoffs, with both sides wondering whether the general election represented a rejection of the Republican party—or of Trump. Continuing to insist voter fraud led to a rigged election, Trump and his allies have been walking a potentially damaging line, recently attempting to leverage his fanbase in the state to gain institutional support for his attempts to overturn the election’s results. Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn advised the GOP to focus on the general election over the Senate runoffs, while Trump appeared to threaten his own support for the Republican candidates on Monday, warning on Twitter that if Georgia’s Republican governor doesn’t help him remedy the election’s results it will be a “bad day” for Loeffler and Purdue. It “could have been easy, but now we have to do it the hard way,” wrote Trump.

The edge that the Democratic candidates get from Georgia GOP divisions could be offset by an energetic turnout of conservative evangelicals. But at least it appears that voter enthusiasm among Georgia Democrats and party unity is solidly on track. No doubt Mitch McConnell is calling in all his credits with contributors and his political connections. But, while there were deep suspicions regarding the integrity of the vote count in the 2018 Governor’s race in Georgia, the state’s Republican leaders know that the Biden Administration DOJ and other law enforcement agencies will not be giving any free rides for any ballot-counting or voter suppression violations in the January 5th runoff.

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