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.