For the past two years, the political eye has continued to turn to Georgia.
And for the first time in two years, voters in this important state will choose a senator in a runoff ballot. This time, the Democrats will decide whether or not to retain her 50-50 majority.
Early data shows voters are not tired of their civic duties.
About 1.5 million Georgians cast early ballots just about a week later for Tuesday’s Senate runoff vote between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Black voters make up almost a third of early voters, but more than a quarter of historical voters are under the age of 50.
About 300,000 people turned out early every day in Georgia this week, setting a record for the largest one-day early voting in state history. Early voting for the runoff ended on Friday.
Georgians have only five days of mandatory early voting this year, compared to three weeks during the last round of voting and last month’s general election. All but 22 counties chose not to allow early voting last Saturday and Sunday as well.
Overall, voter turnout for the 2022 midterm elections was up slightly from the 2018 midterm elections, but down more than 21% from the 2020 general elections.
While voters in midterm elections are typically skewed toward older and whites, voter turnout data from the Georgia Secretary of State shows that voters in the 2022 Georgia midterms will be among the most likely voters in the past four elections, including the 2018 midterms. were older and more white than in the elections. Those voters tend to lean Republican. The fact that Warnock not only pushed through the runoff, but also edged Walker in the first round last month, suggests that he had the support of independents and some Republicans. the political scientist told his CNN.
“The key to Warnock is that he won the independence vote by a large margin, according to the exit polls,” said Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta. “And that was enough to pull him out. In the runoff, I think he should do that too.”
A CNN exit poll of Georgia voters in the November election shows that the proportion of independent voters has decreased by 4 percentage points compared to 2020. But independent voters represented 24% of voters, according to CNN exit polls, and Warnock won by 11 points.
In 2022, there will be slightly more white voters and slightly more black, Asian, and Latino voters than in Georgia’s past three midterm and runoff elections. increase. The percentage of black voters was the lowest in any Georgia election since the 2018 midterm elections.
CNN’s 2021 exit polls showed Warnock won 93% of black voters in Georgia’s last runoff election, a 6-point improvement from the November 2020 general election .
After neither received a majority of votes in the 2020 general election, the 2021 run-off where Warnock faced off against Senator Kelly Leffler increased the percentage of black voters among Georgia voters. Black voters made up his 28% of Georgia voters in that runoff, slightly higher than his share in the 2020 general election. Black voter turnout was at its highest when Democrat Stacey Abrams first ran for governor. Republican Brian Kemp was elected governor in 2018.
Voters in the 2022 midterm elections were also older. Georgians over the age of 50 made up 59% of his voters this year, the highest since 2018. Meanwhile, the share of voters under 30 shrank to 11%, the lowest point since 2018.
Exit polls show that Warnock was able to maintain the improvements he made in the 2021 runoff, winning over the youngest voters and urban voters. He won his 68% of his 18 to 24 votes in his 2021 runoff vote. This is his 16-point improvement over the Democrats in his 2020 general election. He also won his 67% support of urban voters in the 2021 runoff ballot. This beats his 2020 Democrat share by 4 points. Warnock won his 69% of 18-24 year olds and his 68% of urban voters in last month’s general election.
Last month’s election was unusual, with more than 17,000 Georgians missing out on voting in the Senate election but still voting for governor.
Amy Steigerwalt, a professor of political science at Georgia State University, said: “I’m not entirely sure, but it’s very likely that the voters are probably Republicans.
Steigerwald said some Kemp voters voted for Warnock this year and the remaining Republican candidates. Kemp received his 2.1 million votes, about 200,000 more than Walker.
Abramowitz told CNN that the big question in this runoff is what to do when Walker runs on his own without any chance of a Republican regaining control of the Senate.