Early in-person voting in the Georgia Senate run-off elections remains strong. If Democrats win both seats that are on the ballot, then the Democrats will control the Senate, because the chamber will be 50-50, but vice presidents break ties. The next vice president, of course, will be Kamala Harris. On Thursday, about 154,000 Georgians voted in-person across the state, which was a slight drop-off from the equivalent day of early in-person voting for the general election. This time around, early in-person voting opened this past Monday, and on the equivalent fourth day of early voting for the general election, about 164,000 Georgians participated in early voting — although the starkly high numbers from the first two days of early in-person voting for these races help accommodate for the drop-off.
Another day of strong early voting in Georgia, with another 154k voters turning out in person yesterday. That's similar to but slightly behind the fourth day of early voting in the general, which was at 164k
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) December 18, 2020
On this past Tuesday alone, about 167,000 Georgians participated in early in-person voting. (On the second day of early in-person voting for the general election, only about 129,000 voters cast their ballots in Georgia.) Overall, over 1.12 million voters have already participated in Georgia’s ongoing Senate races. Nate Cohn from The New York Times observes that “the big takeaway is that the turnout looks like it will be healthy and high, and it’s not obvious who it will help.” There’s been a drop-off in absentee votes for the Georgia Senate elections, and absentee votes often skew Democratic — although if Democrats can keep their in-person turnout numbers high, then this drop-off might not impact their chances.
The Georgia elections could be close — in the presidential race, Biden won the state by a little more than 12,000 votes, although the margins in the state’s Senate races were larger. Since no Senate candidates hit 50 percent, the top two finishers in each race have proceeded to run-offs, with other candidates removed from the running.
Outgoing President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden have both made campaign stops in the state, where they’ve stumped for their side’s slate of candidates. Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are running against incumbent Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively, and Biden has publicly made the case that his administration needs Warnock and Ossoff in the Senate to help protect Democrats’ work for Americans. Although a new COVID-19 relief package is apparently on the horizon, Republicans let Americans languish for months after the Democrat-led House passed a new relief package months ago. Democratic control of the Senate could largely remove these partisan gridlock delays from the equation.