New 2020 Election Data Raises a Question for 2022
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office posted more detailed voter registration and turnout data from the 2020 election cycle on Monday. There is a wealth of information in this release. Registration and turnout numbers are broken down by race, gender, age, county, and congressional district. Georgia is one of the few states with such detailed registration and turnout demographic data.
I had a chance to dig into some of the files last night and I quickly found a few surprises. No, I did not find a smoking gun or any Kraken-level bombshells. The table below is of a spreadsheet I made with the data from the 14th congressional district and county files for the November general and January runoff.
The under 40 crowd turned out in greater numbers than ever before for the November election but reverted back to their usual disappointing turnout performance in the January runoff. This raises a question: why did voters under 40 stay home?
I think it is undeniable that President Trump’s efforts to overturn the November result depressed turnout in the 14th district but that doesn’t explain why voters under 40 stayed home for the runoff. Not only were voters in this group less engaged and less likely to pay attention to the President’s claims about fraud, but an AJC poll conducted by the University of Georgia revealed a much smaller percentage of this group believed there was widespread fraud in the election compared to voters over 40.
Better understanding this group of voters is key for candidates and campaigns going into next year. As the table above shows, voters under 40 are second only to seniors as a share of registered voters. The data also highlight the long-ignored need for Republicans to try to win votes outside the base and expand the party. Conservatives hoping to stem the Abrams tide next year would do well to prioritize engaging with these voters well before normal campaigning begins.
Georgia Republicans really have to moderate their tone. Younger folks are not buying their claims from the last election or are not impressed by their performance during Covid. .
Trump really has the party in a iron grip. It looks like he is trying to control the political money flow as well so the Republicans will probably put forward their most conservative candidates.
You would like this article from back in January:
Trouble in God’s Country
The making of a political earthquake that tipped the U.S. Senate
by Charles Hayslett on January 12, 2021
Folks much smarter than myself will analyze these numbers and reach their own conclusions, while I only offer anecdotal evidence.
I live and work in the 14th, with many family members that were all in for the Trump clan of grifters. My conclusions are drawn from speaking with immediate family and the community at large as my job requires it. The older folks seem to have been convinced there was massive fraud and that the election was stolen in some form or fashion, yet these folks still chose to still exercise their right to vote as they had done for much of their adult lives.
The younger folks were also convinced the whole shebang was rigged from the get-go, but instead decided to take a pass and get along with their lives. Their motivation to participate in the democratic right to vote lost its luster when their messiah was defeated.
Adding to that there is a large % of today’s 40 and under demographic who have the attention span of a pre-teen. ( in my opinion)
I suspect that could have possibly turned a 3-5% difference in turnout between the age groups in itself.
I guess I don’t understand your point, Elliot. Runoffs draw fewer voters than general elections and younger voters are more likely to stay home than older. That’s what happened in CD 14 this cycle. If you want to argue young gopers stayed home disproportionately compared to donks, you’ll need a party breakdown as well as a comparison with turnout in other CDs.
My guess is any difference in party under-40 turnout can be explained by the absence of Trump in January. People wanted to vote for Trump and MAGA. With only two goper suits on the ballot they stayed home, whereas donks despised Trump and his enablers whether he was on the ballot or not.