Democrats are outperforming their early voting showings in both 2020 and 2018 in newly available numbers from Georgia.
In addition, turnout in early voting in the state remains substantially ahead of the overall totals seen during the last midterm elections back in 2018. Per figures made available by Georgia state authorities early Friday, 1,250,091 Georgians already cast their ballots early and in-person. Through the same point of the early voting process in 2018, only 820,866 Georgians did so. On early Friday, Georgia officials also reported the return of some 133,000 mail-in ballots, bringing the overall total of those who had voted to 1,382,849.
Georgia is almost two weeks into its early voting period. This past Thursday, 111,316 Georgians voted early and in person, which is 23 percent higher than the total of those who turned out on the same day of early voting back in 2018. As for party-specific data, TargetSmart — which is an analytics firm — has modeled the partisan affiliation of those casting ballots, and Democrats are (as of late Friday) ahead of the portions they cast at this point before the election in the last two election cycles.
At this point before Election Day, Democrats had cast an estimated 42.6 percent of the total in early voting back in 2018, according to TargetSmart’s data. Republicans, meanwhile, were at 52.2 percent. (These numbers don’t reflect the contents of votes, just the estimated partisan affiliation of who’s voting.) The gap began to close in 2020, amid a pre-election campaign by Trump and others discrediting mail-in voting (used for a significant portion of early balloting), despite the lack of evidence that any kind of systematic fraud was actually perpetrated. Now, it’s flipped. TargetSmart estimates Democrats cast 49.6 percent of the 2022 early votes tabulated as of late Friday, with Republicans at just 42.4 percent. The overall total is slightly different from overall totals reported by the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who’s himself running for re-election. Also on the ballot in Georgia this year are races for governor and U.S. Senate.
Former President Barack Obama spoke in support of Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock’s candidacy for re-election in Georgia earlier this week, pointing out how the experience of Republican challenger Herschel Walker in football doesn’t necessarily prepare him for a Senate seat. “Let’s do a thought experiment,” Obama quipped. “Let’s say you’re at the airport, and you see Mr. Walker. And you say, ‘Hey, there’s Herschel Walker! Heisman winner! Let’s have him fly the plane!’ You probably wouldn’t say that! You’d want to know, does he know how to fly an airplane?”
As reported on this site, Walker has faced serious questions about his basic competency. He’s sought to characterize himself as a police officer or at least as having worked in law enforcement, despite the fact there’s no indication he has actually served as an officer, and he has spoken of a so-called military career that in reality is just speaking engagements. He has claimed to have led the largest upholstery company in the U.S. and biggest minority-owned food business in the country, neither of which were true. He claimed earlier this year to still be in the upholstery business, but two options for the entity to which he was trying to refer were already defunct when he made those claims, and no evidence indicates Walker was involved in the founding or primary ownership of either.