Tom Bonier Profile picture
20 Nov, 10 tweets, 4 min read
Some have suggested that the driving force behind the GA suburbs going blue was white voters switching from Trump in '16 to Biden in '20. And yes, that was a factor, but likely not nearly as significant as has been suggested. Some evidence...
Here's a breakdown of the suburban vote in Georgia over the last 3 cycles. Note that Black, Asian, and Latino voters all increased their electorate shares substantially over '16, collectively by 3.7 pts.
Meanwhile, white non-college voters saw their vote share plummet from 2016 by a whole 5 points (that's incredible). White college voters increased slightly as a share of the electorate. Fewer white non-college suburban voters cast a ballot in GA this year than did in '16.
Collectively, turnout in the GA suburbs among voters of color and white college-educated voters increased by 291k votes over 2016, while white non-college turnout actually dropped by 11k votes. Dems won the turnout game in the GA suburbs through a very diverse coalition.
A youth vote surge was also key to the blue surge in the Georgia suburbs. No group surged more than voters under the age of 30, relative to 2016.
Keep in mind, the youth vote in Georgia is more diverse than the older cohorts. Just over 10% of those 2020 voters under the age of 30, statewide, were Asian American or Latino voters, while just over 30% were African American.
A few more interesting Georgia facts (not just limited to the suburbs):
- Almost 45% of those voters casting a ballot in their first election were voters of color. 6.6% of first time voters were AAPI voters, even though they only account for 2.5% of registered voters in the state
31.1% of the voters in Georgia in the general election didn't vote in 2016. That's 1,550,196 voters. The Dem margin among these voters was 13 pts higher than among those who did vote in '16. 35% were unmarried women.
How did Dems flip a US House seat in GA CD 7? Huge turnout among voters of color. AAPI voters more than DOUBLED their vote total from 2016, along with a large surge of Latino and Black voters.
About those AAPI (Asian-American/Pacific Islander) voters who helped flip GA CD7: more than 1 in 5 are under the age of 30. Almost 1 in 3 had never voted before they cast their ballot in the 2020 general election.

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More from @tbonier

20 Nov
I should be more clear; NYT published an analysis this week claiming that the '20 Black vote share in GA hit its lowest level since at least '06. They were wrong.
The black vote share actually increased over 2016. The electorate, overall, was the most diverse in the history of GA. It was the white vote share that hit a new low point, yet NYT didn't mention that.
How did they reach this incorrect conclusion? They excluded the roughly 8% of Georgians who didn't identify a race when they registered to vote...
Read 6 tweets
17 Nov
This is conclusion is based on an analysis of 1/3rd of the counties in one state (NC).
In NV, which has just about complete individual vote history reported, voters under the age of 30 increased as a share of the electorate. Image
In CO, also with complete vote history, youth vote surged significantly over 2016 levels. Image
Read 6 tweets
13 Nov
Only Democrats would self-flagellate quite this much, having won the national popular vote by historic margins, held onto the House despite a severe pro-GOP gerrymander, and holding a chance to get to 50 seats in the Senate, a constitutional gerrymandered body.
Yes, we must learn from every election, and there are lots of lessons to learn from this one, but from the post-election takes one would think Democrats lost in a landslide. This is presumably due to the shifting frame of expectations from polls which were likely never accurate.
The polls said Dems would win in a landslide up and down the ballot. The election night results looked like the opposite was happening. Neither were accurate gauges of reality. Look at the results in the context of history, not expectations.
Read 4 tweets
13 Nov
In considering the impact of the BLM movement in the wake of George Floyd's murder, it's important to assess the data in MN, George Floyd's home. Keep in mind, MN handed Trump his second narrowest margin of defeat in '16, and his campaign believed he could win there in '20.
I've shared the national data showing a spike in Dem registrations immediately following the release of the George Floyd video and the ensuing demonstrations. A similar surge happened in Minnesota.
There was no single issue that was more predictive of presidential vote choice in Minnesota than support for Black Lives Matter. By an 8 pt margin, voters in MN had a favorable opinion of BLM. Biden won 89% of these votes, while Trump won 87% of those who had an unfavorable view.
Read 4 tweets
8 Nov
To the current debate as to whether BLM helped or hurt Dems, the truth is likely both, to varying degrees, but to blame BLM for Dem downballot losses only exposes the need for Democrats to embrace the movement more, not less.
First, the data overwhelmingly is on the side of proving BLM's positive impact for Dems. I shared the data showing a huge surge in Dem and Ind registration in late May and early June, during a time when Dems couldn't organize in person, BLM filled the gap. But that's not all...
The day after the George Floyd demonstrations began in Atlanta, younger voters saw their share of the early vote statewide in Georgia almost double. And we've seen clear evidence that youth turnout surged in the general election as well.
Read 16 tweets
8 Nov
So now that we know what happened last Tuesday, the work begins to understand... what happened last Tuesday. Or, more accurately, how it happened. We often rush to draw conclusions from limited and flawed datasets, and these early false narratives can be hard to shake.
The good thing about this election is, with so many votes cast early and by mail, we will have the individual-level vote history in many states far earlier than we normally would. I've been digging into the turnout data in CO, OR, and NV, where the data is largely complete.
First, age. In all 3 states, voters <30 saw their vote share increase over '16 and '18 levels, as did voters over the >65. This is the "boomer-zoomer" coalition the Biden campaign talked about. Meanwhile, voters age 50-64 plummeted in vote share, Trump's strongest group.
Read 7 tweets

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