Extra Georgians Voted In Senate Runoffs Than 2016 Presidential Election

Top line

Runoff elections tend to attract relatively little attention and turnout, but the Georgia Senate runoff election resulted in more than 4.4 million ballots. That’s a massive, record-breaking number, with African Americans and young voters representing a significant increase in the unprecedented volume of spurring Democratic challengers to victory.

Candidates for the Georgia Democratic Senate, Raphael Warnock (R) and Jon Ossoff (L), come across during one … [+] It’s Time to Vote drive-in rally on December 28, 2020 in Stonecrest, Georgia. With a week until the January 5 runoff that will determine control of the Senate (Photo by Jessica McGowan / Getty Images)

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Key factors

By Wednesday afternoon, 4,406,526 Georgians had voted with 98% of the estimated votes in total.

That is over 260,000 votes more than the number cast in Georgia in the 2016 presidential election (in the last Senate runoff in 2008, less than half of this year’s general election voted).

Almost 90% of the voters who voted in the November 2020 presidential election also voted in the runoff.

The previous runoff record had been eclipsed before election day when more than three million people cast their ballots through an early vote, which began in mid-December.

According to GeorgiaVotes.com, over 360,000 of these early voters were between 18 and 29 years old.

More than 123,000 of the early voters did not cast a vote in the presidential election, with the majority of those voters being non-white and more than 40% of voters under 40.

Surprising fact

Predominantly black counties in rural Georgia saw voter turnout close to the general election numbers and “margins in excess of” what President-elect Joe Biden received when he defeated President Trump in Peach State, according to the New York Times.

Key background:

According to data from TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, nearly 50,000 black Georgians voted early. “The black vote delivered the US Senate for Democrats,” said Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart. Early Tuesday polls found that 93% of black voters supported Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. In comparison, 71% of white voters supported Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The New York Times reported that prior to the runoff election, more than 75,000 new voters had registered and more than 50% were under 35 years of age.

Surprising fact:

Should he be officially declared the winner in his race against Perdue, Jon Ossoff, at 33, would be the youngest Democratic Senator elected since 30-year-old Joe Biden defeated Republican Senator J. Caleb Boggs in Delaware in 1973.

Main critic:

Last week a political action committee called Georgia Balance spent $ 2.5 million trying to convince Biden voters to cast a ballot for Loeffler and Perdue. The group posted a video ad in which a white woman declares she is the mother of three and that even though she voted for Biden, she says, “In the Senate runoff, I will vote for David and Kelly.” We just have to take a breath. America needs balance. “

Crucial quote:

“For the longest time I’ve felt alienated from politics, and now we have a say,” said Atlanta-based rapper Jeezy. “At this point we are all into politics because it is our world. If we don’t say or do nothing, we will be sidelined.”

Big number:

23,000. That’s the number of Georgians who were too young to vote in the presidential election in November but qualified in the runoff elections.

Further reading:

Phone Calls, Texts, and Tinder – Georgia Campaigns Court Young Voters (NYT)

Turnout is low in Georgia on election day – that could mean for the Senate races (Forbes)

Over 100,000 people who did not vote in the presidential election have requested ballots for runoff elections in the Georgia Senate (Forbes).

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