Georgia GOP Playing Wrong Game in Warnock-Walker Runoff

By J Robert Smith

  • Dec. 3, 2022
  • 5-min read

If we could go “Back to the Future” in the 1990s, the likes of James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, and Paul Begala (Bill’s Clinton’s hired guns) would tell us that elections today are “About the ballots, stupid.” And, as much as conservative grassroots and Republicans detest hearing that, it’s true. Thanks to the infamous Covid lockdowns, changes made to election laws in the states, early voting and mail-in balloting have dramatically altered the elections landscape.

Democrats are gleefully stealing marches in mail-in voting, in particular. It’s a monumental tactical error for Republicans and Trump activists to urge voters to wait until Election Day to vote. Why? Because not all pro-Republican voters get out to vote, for various reasons. Democrats no longer try to persuade voters to vote. They’ve put in place systems to obtain their target voters’ ballots early.

Case in point, the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff between incumbent Ralph Warnock and Hershel Walker. The election finale is this Tuesday, December 6.

The betting is that Warnock has a slight edge because the instant Democrats were free to start extracting ballots from their voters, they did so. Not haphazardly, mind you, but systematically. It doesn’t appear that Georgia Republicans are doing anything comparable. That may prove fatal.

From ABC News, December 3:

Georgians swarmed to the polls on the last day of early voting before next week’s Senate runoff, setting a new record for single-day early in-person turnout.

At least 352,953 people voted in person on Friday, bringing the total number of votes, either in person or absentee, to over 1.8 million. That number represents 26.4% of active voters.

Of course, we can’t know for certain that more of those votes are Democrat or Republican ballots, but it appears the trend is repeating itself. Like the 2022 general elections in Georgia and elsewhere, Democrats are clocking the GOP in mail-in and early voting.

From CNN Politics, December 1:

So far in early voting, Black voters make up a little more than 33% of the electorate, while White voters account for 54%. At a roughly similar point in the general election based on the number of early votes cast, about 31% of voters were Black and about 57% were White.

This may seem like a small difference, but given the large partisan gap between Black and White voters, it suggests that those who have gone to the polls so far are more Democratic than at a similar point in the general election.

I should note that a number of Democratic counties opened up early in-person voting sooner than Republican-leaning counties. That said, voters in all Georgia counties have been able to cast a ballot for a number of days now, and the racial voting gap between the general election and runoff has not gone away.

Democrats are banking ballots, while Georgia Republicans – again – appear to be relying heavily on Election Day turnout to make up the difference. That may prove yet another frustrating error.

From the Daily Kos, December 3:

With regard to the Big Four counties of Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett, they accounted for 33% of votes cast yesterday, which is their exact proportion of Georgia’s population as a whole. And that’s exactly the same percentage as the day before in the early voting. As it stands now, these four counties account for 35.6% of all votes cast. This is good news because Warnock will get big margins from these four counties.

And then this from Daily Kos:

Regarding two solidly Republican Atlanta area counties that I mentioned yesterday — Coweta and Cherokee — the turnout has been pretty dismal throughout the early voting window. Coweta stands at just 46% of the total votes they had at this point during the general. That is actually the second lowest percentage out of all of Georgia’s 159 counties. Cherokee isn’t much better at 57%. By comparison, Fulton is at about 68%, Cobb is at 76%, Dekalb is also at 76%, and Gwinnett is at 72%. It’s important to note, however, that Hall County — another Republican county in the Atlanta area — and a bunch of nearby rural Republican counties, have had very good turnout.

The highly significant counties of Richmond (Augusta), Muscogee (Columbus), and Clarke (Athens) are above 85% of their EV vote from the general, even in this compressed early voting period. That is very good news for us.

My official prediction for this contest is Warnock wins it 52% to 48%. I think Republican turnout will be good on election day, but by looking at the early vote, we can see that Warnock’s supporters are slightly more enthusiastic about their candidate than the other guy’s are.

Yes, the sources cited are corporate media and the Daily Kos is “progressive,” but they have no reason to skew their numbers or try to spin for Warnock. The reason: the brutal fact is that the Democrat formula of obtaining mail-in ballots and pushing their target audiences to vote early has sadly worked in too many important contests. In competitive races – particularly in “purple states” – they’re winning tight races that Republicans should win if they employed similar – if not superior – programs.

As conservatives, we can gnash our teeth and shake our fists at heaven about mail-in balloting and early voting and the potential for fraud, but in many states – including red and purple states – both means of voting aren’t going away. Yes, fraud has been happening, but key states have enacted reforms that have helped limit fraud. Such is the case in Georgia, Florida, and Texas, where stricter oversight is required, as well as robust enforcement of laws when fraud is suspected or discovered.

If the GOP doesn’t get with the reality and adjust tactics accordingly, a lot of critical contests will be needlessly lost to Democrats in the future. That doesn’t have to happen.

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