Nate Cohn Profile picture
29 Dec, 11 tweets, 3 min read
Georgia early voting took a few days off over the holidays, like most everything else, but it was back near general election levels on Monday
As we've expected from the start, this creates a challenge for comparing where we stand now v. the general election.
Day 11-13 were fairly good days for the GOP in Oct.; they run farther behind without those days, but we have no reason to think that's for a meaningful reason
I'll offer two ways of trying to account for this. It's not perfect, but there are many circumstances in which it still permits useful analysis. 1) Remove those same days of in-person voting (not mail) from the advanced vote in October; 2) A direct day-to-day comparison
That first comparison--removing ipev from GE holiday-equiv. --will be represented with a dotted line, shown here.
This isn't perfect: one could imagine, for ex., that someone who would have voted on day 12 will now vote on day 18, boosting later tallies. But still useful context
With that in mind, it still seems Democrats continue to show a lot of strength. Yesterday, they continued to run well ahead of the general election, including excluding holiday equiv. days
The Dem strength is mainly if not entirely due to a stronger Black turnout. This has always been the obvious way for Dems to improve their standing, given relatively weak Black turnout in Nov., and while there aren't any guarantees it sure seems like it's on track to materialize
Of course, the composition of the electorate is only one variable. Voter preference is more important than turnout. After all, Ossoff ran net-2 pts behind Biden. Maybe even more Biden vtrs will vt Rep. downballot, whether in hope of divided gvt or bc attacks on Dems
And the early vote is only one element of the composition of the electorate. Perhaps the GOP will fare much better on Election Day than they did in the general. Maybe Election Day will be a larger share of the vote (perhaps we should expect that, given holidays). We don't know
But what I can say is that *if* the Dems were on track to increase the Black share of the electorate by a few points, and in doing so nudge Warnock over the top and Ossoff into a deadheat if preferences were unchanged, that this is what I would have guessed it might look like
I can also say, at this point fairly definitively, that the Ds will come out of the advanced vote with a more favorable *electorate* than the adv. vote in the general. Now the GOP can beat it back on eday, of course. But it will factor into interpreting results on Election Night
Among Times/Siena poll respondents from Sept/Oct, Biden led 56-36 among voters who have now voted in the runoff. He led 51-40 among those who had voted by an equivalent point in the general election

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More from @Nate_Cohn

30 Dec
Early voting kept humming along in Georgia yesterday, matching turnout from the equivalent date ahead of the general as we head into the last days of in person voting Image
The final Tuesday of early voting was the GOP's best day ahead of the general and that was true yesterday, as well, though they trailed the general election pace yet again Image
A relatively higher Black turnout continues to be the difference. The Black share of the daily electorate reached its nadir yesterday, as it did at this point in the general, but it was still 4 pts higher than at this point before the nov. election Image
Read 7 tweets
29 Dec
One question I keep getting about the Georgia early voting is about age: isn't the electorate older, and how much does it hurt the Democrats?
So far the answer is 'not really' and 'not at all.'
The first question is easy enough. As of today, youth turnout is basically keeping pace with the general, controlling for the slightly reduced opportunities to vote. This augurs for an unusually young electorate
The second question is more interesting: are the Democrats hurt by lower youth turnout? So far the answer is no, and there are two reasons.
One reason: there's not a *huge* gen. gap. Maybe young voters are D+20 while >65 are R+15. You need a big gap for modest changes to matter.
Read 9 tweets
23 Dec
Democrats continue to inch ahead in the Georgia advanced voting, thanks to persistently strong Black turnout, as we enter the last day of voting before the holidays
These comparisons are going to get a bit more complicated after today. The GOP is basically going to lose two days of early voting which were pretty decent for them in the general election. So we'll just take those days out of the 2020 early voting for comparison, I think.
At this point though, I don't think the comparison will be a problem. Since day four of early voting, Black voters have represented a much larger share of in-person early voting than it did in the general. There's no sign of that changing yet
Read 5 tweets
21 Dec
A lot for Democrats to like in the early voting data over the last few days, as they are now running ahead of where they stood at a similar point of the general election--thanks to a stronger Black turnout
The Black share of in-person early voters was basically identical to the general election over the first few days of voting, but that began to diverge late last week--and even more so over the weekend, which is typically a strong period for Black turnout in Georgia
As most of you know, the Black turnout in Georgia (and nationwide) was relatively weak v. other groups in the general election. That's been a matter of some consternation for progressives who wish it weren't so, but it's also the big source of upside for Democrats in this runoff
Read 11 tweets
18 Dec
Another day of strong early voting in Georgia, with another 154k voters turning out in person yesterday. That's similar to but slightly behind the fourth day of early voting in the general, which was at 164k
Cumulatively, we're still running ahead of the general election on in-person early voting, but I don't think anyone expects that to last--and there's a very long time left for that flip to happen
As I've said, the big takeaway is that the turnout looks like it will be healthy and high, and it's not obvious who it will help v. the general. As I've mentioned, there are crosscutting patterns at play that make it difficult to sort out where we'll end up. Let's look at a few
Read 11 tweets
17 Dec
Early voting is still proceeding at a brisk pace in the Georgia runoff, where nearly 150k voted yesterday--a hair above the third day of early voting in 2020 general
Yesterday was also the first day where the Democratic share of in-person early voters, as defined by partisan vote history, was better for them than it was in the general
(dark line = runoff; light = general)
That said, it's possible they might well need to beat out their early voting numbers from the general to compensate for a dropoff in the number of absentee voters, who are far more Democratic
Read 6 tweets

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