Emory professor says early vote demographics paint clear picture for Senate runoff

ATLANTA — An Emory University professor has spent a lot of his time “tracking” many of the more than 3-million voters who have cast early or absentee votes in the ongoing Senate runoff election.

Channel 2 News anchor Justin Wilfon spoke Friday with Emory University professor Bernard Fraga who has been spending much of his time analyzing those voters. Fraga says he was able to use information about those voters to compile a good look at which candidates are likely doing well and which are not.

“What we’re trying to understand is the demographics of who turns out in the runoff compared to the demographics of who voted in the November general election,” Fraga said.

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The Associate Professor of Political Science and one of his undergraduate students spent the past few weeks developing a tracking system for Georgia’s Senate runoff election.

Fraga says the charts and graphs they developed reveal good news for Democrats.

“Indeed, looking at specific demographic categories, specifically race/ethnicity and age group, we’re seeing a boost in turnout specifically for African Americans that implies that Democrats might have a shot at winning these elections,” Fraga said.

The professor says data from early voting in the runoffs revealed something he said was remarkable. More than 100,000 new voters cast ballots.

He says those are people who didn’t take part in November’s General Election, and that’s potentially another good sign for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

“The new voters coming in are very likely to be disproportionately Democratic, younger, and have a higher share of a minority population in the overall turnout group,” Fraga said.

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However, Fraga believes there is still plenty of time for a Republican comeback. He feels more David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler supporters will likely cast their votes on Jan. 5th.

“For Loeffler and Perdue, they are the ones that have the most work to do to make sure their November supporters not just maintain their support but actually show up and turn out to vote,” Fraga said.

He adds that young voters, those in the 18-24 age group, are casting ballots at a rate that rivals their turnout in November. Fraga believes that also is a good development for the Democrats.

“At the moment the situation looks much better for Democrats than they would have hoped for in their wildest dreams,” Fraga said.

Still, by showing up in large numbers on Tuesday, Fraga believes it is possible Republicans could turn the Democrats dream into a nightmare.

“There’s still a large share of voters, especially those election day voters who disproportionately Republican who have yet to cast their ballots,” Fraga said.

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