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.


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