How Georgia Youth Vote Could Impact Runoff Election

Young voters – specifically young Black voters – participating in the Georgia runoff election for two Senate seats are expected to provide significant support for the Democratic candidates.In the Senate race between incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, 88% of Black youth favored Ossoff, compared with 31% of white youth, in the November election, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.In the Senate special election between incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and challenger Raphael Warnock, 83% of Black youth preferred Warnock, compared to 32% of white youth, according to the study.“These overwhelming preferences underscore young Black voters’ ability to shape the runoff results,” CIRCLE stated.Nationally, young voters 18 to 29 years old favored President-elect Joe Biden by 25% over Republican President Donald Trump, according to CIRCLE.In Georgia, young voters cast 20% of all votes in the state for the 2020 presidential election, among the highest turnouts in the nation. And the youth vote in that Southern state favored Biden by 19%.CIRCLE said those youth voters were overwhelmingly Black, with 90% of Black youth supporting Biden in Georgia.“Youth of color, and especially Black youth, have extraordinary potential to be a decisive factor in these upcoming Senate races as a result of their population size and their historical support for Democratic candidates,” CIRCLE said on their website on December 22.“As they were in the 2018 and 2020 general elections in the state, youth of color are a major force in the Georgia electorate. There are over 500,000 Black 18- to 29-year-olds registered to vote as of December 17 … currently, the highest number of Black youth registered to vote in any state for which we have data,” CIRCLE reported.“But there are also barriers that particularly affect young people of color in Georgia, who will need to be engaged and mobilized in a type of election that traditionally sees lower turnout,” the report stated.

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