While there has not been a lot of coverage, two Georgia special elections happened last night that have some Democrats freaking out. The elections, which were concerning state legislature seats, ended with the GOP winning both, but that is not the whole story.
Instead, the story is really in the change of vote share that occurred in these districts, both moving toward the Republicans compared to their recent 2020 results.
Two GA special elections tonight, neither great news for Dems
In HD156 (rural Georgia), the Dem got 14%. Biden got 25%.
In HD35 (suburban ATL), Dems are combining for 42%. But Biden got 47%.
Underperformance from the presidential ticket in both. pic.twitter.com/gsRzAVcPdm
— Brent Peabody (@brent_peabody) June 16, 2021
The results in the rural areas are very important because Democrats growing their vote shows a lack of turnout to counterbalance the suburbs, which are the areas that handed the Democrats both Georgia Senate wins in January.
Some might blame that on Lin Wood telling conservatives not to vote or people just feeling like it doesn’t matter after losing the previous November presidential election, but getting back to normal voting turnout is great for the GOP in 2022. Remember, Senator Raphael Warnock will already face re-election after only two years.
The increases in suburban Atlanta are also something the Republicans have been seeking. Again, blame this on whatever you want, but the Republicans lost previously held red suburban districts across the country mostly due to a change among college-educated women. Are things getting back to normal? If they do, 2022 will be more than conservatives taking the House by a small margin, which would alone be enough to send Nancy Pelosi into a panic.
Traditional wisdom has put Georgia as a “lean D” state after 2020, but maybe what happened previous was the aberration? Maybe the analysts rushing to redefine the whole state are overreacting? It is starting to seem that way. I certainly would not bet on Warnock in 2022 since he won by just 93,000 votes when Democrats did everything they could to help him win no matter what. With the opposition party already getting a traditional advantage of a first midterm of a new president, gains like what happened last night will lead to much bigger things.
Author: Steven Sinclaire