Today I will be analyzing the two Senate races in Georgia: the regular one between David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, and the special election between Kelly Loeffler and Raphael Warnock. I’m looking at one of the most important aspects as we head into the final week of this race: turnout levels.
So far, this runoff has shattered records for turnout- even though Election Day is still a week away. In fact, as of today, around 3 million people have voted, which is comparable to the presidential election levels. This is crucial for Democrats because runoffs tend to be low-turnout, which disproportionally affects minorities and young voters. The fact that the turnout levels are similar to the November election is astonishing and proves that something is working with both party’s turnout levels, and also points at the importance of the election.
Looking more specifically, Democrats should have a lot of hope because of the demographic numbers. So far, 31% of the electorate is Black. This is even higher than the November election, when around 27% was. A 4% increase in the African-American electorate equals around 3% more support for Democrats, knowing the correlations among these voters. In such a close race, 3% will make or break the Democrats’ hopes. Furthermore, a disproportional number of Hispanics, Asians, and young people (18 to 29) who have voted in this election did not vote in November, at 5.9%, 6.3% and a whopping 9.7%, respectively.
Turnout is crucial in this election where, let’s face it, not many voters will switch their minds. Thus, if I were Democrats, I would be cautiously optimistic. These numbers are good for them, and, unless a massive amount of Republicans vote next Tuesday (and by massive it would have to be basically at a higher amount than November), they will have a slight advantage.