Is #Georgia On Your Mind?
November 29, 2022

Yesterday on Twitter, Herschel Walker agreed with some far-right sociopath that people born after 1990 (so anyone 32 and under), saying that-- presumably unlike himself-- “most of them haven’t earned a right to change America” and that people have given their lives up for the national anthem… If you know a place better, you go there, but you’ll lose your citizenship here in the United States of America. And then when you come back, you gotta come back legally like we should be defending the border.” I’m sure that means something… to fellow MAGAts.

The most recent poll of the runoff— by Republican polling firm Fabrizio Ward for AARP shows Raphael Warnock narrowly ahead of Walker— 51-47%. Perhaps the reason Walker is so angry at younger voters is that the poll shows Warnock leading him by a massive 24 points among voters under 50.

Yesterday, voters started going to the polls for the early voting the GOP tried, unsuccessfully, to block. Lines were long in the Atlanta metro area, where Warnock beat Walker handily earlier this month.

Clayton Co- Warnock +76
DeKalb Co- Warnock +70
Fulton Co- Warnock +49
Henry Co- Warnock + 29
Gwinnett Co- Warnock +20
Cobb Co- Warnock +16

Voting is already in full swing in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Henry counties, with voters waiting hours on line, many of those on line happy about weekend voting because they work or go to school during the week.

Last Monday, Ryan Grim reported that some political strategists have been pushing “a narrative that explains Democratic over-performance not as a matter of robust turnout among young voters and other progressives— which was the conventional explanation coming out of the election— but as the result of persuading independents and Republican-leaning voters to switch sides and vote Democrat. The narrative aligns with the politics of [corporately-funded conservative Democrats like David Shor], who argue that Democrats ought to hew to a moderate center to win over swing voters, rather than stand for a progressive agenda.”

Shor isn’t a trustworthy source; he twists data to please his paymasters.

According to more above-board Democratic consulting firm TargetSmart, “203,874 people under the age of 30 voted in 2014 in Georgia, representing 7.9 percent of the overall turnout. In 2018, that number exploded to 478,240, or 12.1 percent, an unheard of jump of 50 percent over the 2014 midterm, matching the census finding.”

Complete 2022 numbers from TargetSmart aren’t public yet, but CEO Tom Bonier said the final youth vote in Georgia will represent 10.9 percent of the electorate, a substantial increase over 2014, but lower than 2018 (and slightly closer to 2018 than 2014). What makes the increase that much more impressive, of course, is that the overall turnout massively expanded as well. Making up 7.9 percent of 2.6 million is a much smaller total number of young voters than 10.9 percent of 4.1 million.

In fact, the total number of young voters casting ballots in 2022, given those numbers, will be more than double the number of young people who voted in 2014. The total population of Georgia was 7.3 million in 2014; now, it’s over 10 million. But that means the rate of increase among young voters substantially outpaced the rate of population growth.

…The robustness of youth turnout is doubly impressive, given the scarce resources devoted to it in 2022. In 2018, NextGen, the Tom Steyer-funded youth voter turnout machine, spent $33 million reaching young people. After Steyer’s failed presidential bid in 2018, he stepped back, spending $20 million in the ‘22 cycle. The group registered 258,000 voters in 2018, and just 78,000 in 2022. They don’t list Georgia as a state they worked in 2022, though a spokesperson said they are committed to contacting 1.4 million voters in the Georgia Senate runoff.

More broadly, the universe of organizations built up over the years to register young voters has withered. The United States Student Association, the oldest of them, has effectively disappeared. went through a period of tumult and split into two rival organizations, with its fundraising falling amid the turmoil, before rebounding to a new high, according to its most recently available tax returns. A spokesperson said the group registered 173,275 new voters in Georgia over the past two cycles. The Center for American Progress shuttered its youth voting arm. That young people still powered Democrats to victory speaks to the potential of a coalition that responds to their interests.

You can contribute directly to Senator Warnock’s Get Out The Vote efforts here. Right now Blue America is running 3 ads in Georgia, a Spanish-language ad directed at people who get their news from Spanish-language media, an ad targeting rural voters, and this Facebook/Instagram ad targeting urban voters in the 6 counties mentioned above (as well as to voters in Savannah, Augusta, Columbus, Athens, Macon, and Albany):

If you want to contribute to keeping our ad campaign going right through December 6, you can do that here. Please keep in mind that every $25 contribution results in approximately 4,000 people seeing the ad, about 25% of whom will watch it more than once.

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