One of the major keys to victory for the Democrats in Georgia in the two Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5 will be the party’s ability to get the state’s rural black population to come out and vote, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
The November election emphasized a pattern stressing that party affiliation is increasingly connected with where voters reside, with rural voters overwhelmingly backing President Donald Trump. But blacks in rural areas have remained largely loyal to Democrats, which is particularly important in Georgia, where that demographic makes up about 30% of all voters.
Most indications are the two runoff races, which will determine who controls the Senate, are likely to come down to which party can bring out the most voters.
The state’s runoff elections have long favored the GOP, because the Democrat base has usually not come out in force in the second round of voting, according to the Journal.
Even last month, black voter turnout in Georgia increased, but not as much as it did among white voters.
Another worrisome sign for Democrats is that, although blacks backed Democrat Joe Biden over Trump 92% to 6% in the state, Trump received a slightly higher nationwide share of the black vote this year compared with four years ago.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris last week campaigned for her fellow Democrats in an effort to boost black turnout, telling the community that the new administration would try to boost federal backing for black-owned businesses.
In addition, the grass-roots voter-engagement organization Black Male Voter Project is actively working to get more black men to the voting booth.
Early voting figures are a mixed bag for Democrats. Although they point to a potentially record turnout for a runoff election, the pace is still behind that of November. However, black voters were making up a larger share of early votes than they did in that election.