As Election Day in the state’s two ongoing Senate races quickly approaches, Georgia has already flown past the state’s previous record for turnout in a statewide run-off election, suggesting a significantly high level of enthusiasm in the state. This enthusiasm could translate into Democratic gains, since the fact that control of the Senate rests on these races has driven a high amount of attention, and Georgians already recently went for Joe Biden over outgoing President Donald Trump by a slim margin, meaning that there’s clearly a base of support for the Democratic cause. Georgia set its previous run-off turnout record in 2008, when 2.137 million ballots were cast — but this year, over 3 million Georgians have already voted!
For comparison, a little over 4 million Georgians voted in this year’s general election. As of earlier this week, over 78,000 Georgians who didn’t participate in the general election had voted in the Senate run-off races, according to a data analysis from the Democratic firm TargetSmart, whose CEO Tom Bonier also said on Monday that most of the new voters in Georgia were people of color.
NBC notes that Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff — who are running to unseat incumbent Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — “have been holding [get-out-the-vote] rallies targeting key constituencies within the Black, Latino, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities, as well as young voters with key surrogates like President-elect Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama.” Some of those “key surrogates” for the Democratic campaigns have also appeared in ads.
In one recent ad for Ossoff, former President Obama clearly lays out the election’s stakes. In short, Democratic control of the Senate could make critical assistance for Americans suddenly more possible because of removing significant levels of partisan gridlock from the situation. Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would suddenly no longer be able to count on using the Senate for his political ambitions.
Former President Obama poignantly commented as follows:
‘Now, America is counting on [Georgians] again. You can send Jon Ossoff to the Senate to beat this virus and rebuild our economy, to make sure everybody can afford health care, to carry the torch John Lewis passed to us with a new Voting Rights Act that secures equal justice for all. Georgia, you have the power. And now it’s time to vote.’
Check out his comments below: