Will Early Voting in Georgia Help the GOP?
Yesterday, which was the second early voting day in Georgia, the latest report has more than 172,000 votes cast. In the last mid-term election, which was 2018, the first two early voting days in Georgia ended up with some 70,000 votes coming in.
Some of the Walker supporters are saying these votes represent a larger GOP turnout than in previous years, demonstrating how Walker and the GOP in general have ‘energized’ the midterm campaign.
The idea that GOP votes account for this upsurge in Georgia’s early voting has about as much reality behind it as the narrative of the 2020 Trump campaign about how there was going to be a fifty thousand-person GOP ‘army’ going around doing GOTV work before the 2020 vote.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Republicans don’t like elections. They also dislike anyone who votes who doesn’t live in a nice, white suburb which until recently, is where Republican voters tended to live.
Trump changed this attitude somewhat when he promoted the idea that as an extremely wealthy person, he understood why poor white voters were pissed off. They were pissed off because all those illegal immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries were stealing food stamps and welfare checks. They were pissed off because the socialists and the communists were trying to take away their guns. They were pissed off because they were pissed off.
They were so pissed off at the Democrats in 2020 that Joe’s vote margin over Trump among voters who earned less than fifty grand a year was only 57% to 42%. Among voters who earned between fifty and a hundred grand, Joe’s margin was 56% to 43%.
No matter how you slice it or dice it, until 2020, the demographics of the two voting groups – red versus blue – hadn’t really changed over the last forty years. In 1980, 52.8% of the voting-age population voted that year. In 2016, it was 54.8%. In 2020, for the very first time in any Presidential election since 1960, the percentage of voting-age Americans who voted went above 60% to 62.8%.
You can’t really count voting versus total population before 1980, however, because the Voting Rights Act wasn’t in effect. So, the bottom line is that in Presidential elections until 2020, at least 40% of the voting-age population has always stayed home.
When it comes to midterm elections, incidentally, the percentage of voting age Americans who show up at a polling place or mail in their ballot was 48.5% in 1982, and then dropped in every midterm vote through 2014 when it was 38.5%. In 2018, the percentage jumped back up to 49%, an increase which didn’t help the GOP at all.
In the fifty-four years since I voted for the first time in 1968, I have never (read: never) been visited or even seen the slightest attempt by the Republicans to either register people to vote or get people to come out and vote. The idea that the Republican Party is now all hot and bothered about election ‘integrity’ is the biggest joke and the biggest false narrative that the GOP has ever attempted to foist on the American public in my lifetime.
Back in 2020, I heard that the Republicans in my district were going to hold a GOTV rally in a town about twenty miles away from where I live. Now I happen to live in Massachusetts, which is one of the bluest of all blue states, so I made a point of driving to this town on the day and the hour of this so-called rally because I wanted to see some actual Republican voters in the flesh.
On one corner of the main intersection of the town were four guys standing there waving MAGA flags. They also happened to be wearing jackets with logos of some local motorcycle club. They stood around, waved their flags at passing cars and then dispersed after twenty minutes or so.
Obviously, in a state which sends an entirely blue Congressional delegation to D.C., a street-corner rally for the GOP isn’t going to draw an overwhelming crowd. But four guys who parked their Harleys and hung out for less than half an hour? That was a rally? That was what Grandpa would call ‘gurnisht helfen,’ (read: not a goddamn thing.)
Something tells me that the early voters in Georgia didn’t come out because Herschel Walker is such a big draw.