Republican Senate candidates won the Georgia vote in November. Democrats won it on Tuesday.
The reason: a superior Democratic, and especially Black, turnout…
We won't have an authoritative account for a bit, but based on what I see, there's basically no evidence of significant, net-Democratic vote switching since November.
Instead, turnout held stronger in Democratic areas than GOP areas
One fun way to check the proposition that turnout was decisive: if you take the Ossoff/Perdue tallies in November, and use precinct data to infer what proportion of Biden/Trump voters returned (which is not a safe assumption!) you get Ossoff +.4 with no switching
Another piece of evidence: Republicans continued to run far ahead of Biden in the relatively white, affluent, well-educated precincts on the northside of Atlanta that put Biden over the top in November, as you can see on the great map by @charlie_smart_
There's been a little confusion about this graphic in my feed this AM, as it compares Biden to Ossoff, not Ossof Nov. to Jan.
But Ossoff Jan. ran behind Nov. in these >80k median income precincts, as well--a clear sign that Dems didn't flip many of the Biden-Perdue target voters
It may even be an indication that Dems lost a bit of ground among affluent voters, perhaps as affluent, traditionally GOP voters tried to ensure divided government
Instead, Democrats ran a net-3 points ahead of November by riding a far stronger turnout--especially among Black voters. As a result, turnout remained highest and Democratic vote share increased most in majority Black areas
My *guess* based on the precinct data and the early vote is that the Black share of the electorate will go up by around 2 points over the general election, to its highest level since 2012. But we'll have authoritative data to be sure in a few weeks
As an aside, I know many were displeased w my view that Black turnout in Nov. was fairly disappointing, as their share of the vote declined to its lowest level since '06
I'll just say that this interpretation helps make sense of the Tues. result, and made it easier to see coming

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More from @Nate_Cohn

6 Jan
Ossoff and Warnock are both on track for victory with a greater than 95% chance to win, according to our estimates.
This is not a projection, but the remaining vote--including another 18k DeKalb early votes and nearly 100k absentee votes--overwhelmingly favors the Democrats Image
Ossoff's lead is still just slim enough that you do want to make sure that some of these late absentees and provisionals really materialize to the extent we expect. I'd think we could see some projections in the Warnock race tonight
But the remaining early in-person votes in DeKalb, alone, will give Ossoff the kind of lead that Biden had in the final count, and there's a lot more for him beyond that. So there may not be a call there tonight, but it's not serious doubt
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
I'm getting a lot of questions about the DeKalb County vote that remains. Apparently an election official said they only had 130k votes left, not 170k in-person early votes as they had previously said.
First and foremost, I think it's quite clear that it's 170k votes.
The state reports the early vote in great detail; and there were definitely 170k votes cast in-person in early voting in DeKalb County.
Now one possibility is that there's a reporting error--say, they uploaded 30k and called it in-person. I see no signs of that. The votes are left.
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
Results (for Ossoff) so far v. our pre-election expectations:
Absentee: D+4.1 better than we expected
Early: D+.3
Election day: D+1.3
--on turnout--
Early: 100% of expected
Absentee 98.4% (expect the remainder tmro/later)
Election day: 106% (good for GOP; not enough so far)
To circle back to a pre-election question, Ossoff is on track to net-400k out of the advance vote with 56.4%. Perdue on track to get net-370k out of election day, by our estimate, with 64.5%
And the overall turnout estimate is at 4.415 million at the moment, though the public tea leafs on election day ATL-area turnout suggest that will be a bit low
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
We're starting to get some votes and most of it is early and absentee votes, where Democrats were expected to fare well. In our view, Dems faring a hair better than expected in the absentee vote, but the big question mark is the Election Day vote and we still have very little
So far, Dems are faring net-4.5 pts better than we expected in the absentee vote and exactly as expected in the early vote.
We only have 2600 election day votes, so we'll wait on that but what little we have is in line with where the needle started the night
One easy way to track: our update-by-update log. So far, few surprises. Image
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
The polls are closed and the needle is operational…
One new feature:
In testing, I've got to tell you that this won't always seem 'rational'--you can't see the turnout half of the equation, to take one obvious thing that was actually pretty important in the way the needle moved in November. But it's enjoyable imo
Read 7 tweets
5 Jan
A few thoughts as we head into the polls closing. Let me start with the very most obvious one: this is not a regularly scheduled election, and that always makes it harder to predict
If this was regularly scheduled, we'd probably just call the clear GOP favorite. We had a 'perfect' poll of 5 million Georgians in November, and they favored Perdue. It's very hard to makeup a 2 point deficit on turnout, especially for the Democrats, in a high turnout race
But this is not a regularly scheduled election, and you can make up a 2 point deficit on turnout in this context. You can get an AL Senate special result that just wouldn't have happened if it had been scheduled in Nov 2018
Read 10 tweets

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