Yesterday, voters in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District could take advantage of the early voting period in all three of the district’s counties- Cobb, DeKalb, and Fulton- and will have the ability to vote every weekday this week, next week, and through the Thursday before Primary Day (government offices are closing down on Friday, April 14th, for Easter). Democrats have dumped a truckload of cash into the race, nearly all of it backing Jon Ossoff, who is hoping for a longshot, outright win on April 18th. Republicans remain divided across a slew of candidates including Bob Gray and Karen Handel, but the district has a clear Republican bent that, if Ossoff fails to get a majority during the primary, will probably tip the balance towards them in the June runoff.
Professor Michael McDonald of the U.S. Elections Project has broken down the numbers from the first day of in person early voting and absentees- 1,878 votes in all- and not surprisingly, the first ballots cast skewed Democratic:
— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) March 28, 2017
McDonald stressed on Twitter that the partisan lean did not surprise him, as “Democrats tend to vote early”, but was intrigued by the number of voters who hadn’t cast in a primary before. As noted earlier in the month here at DDHQ, voter registration increased by over 10,000 between the race’s official announcement and the March 20th cutoff. It’s worth mentioning that first-in voters have skewed older and whiter than the district’s overall makeup. That last part matters for Mr. Ossoff: if he can manage to get African Americans to turn out, particularly in the DeKalb portion of the district, he could pull off the improbable. If however those precincts turnout more like they had in 2014- casting half the votes they would in last year’s Presidential election- he will really need to bank on perceived suburban voter distrust of President Trump (the President won the district by only 1%). That’s no sure thing for him: the latest poll, conducted by OpinionSavvy, found the President enjoying a positive approval rating- 53%/46%- district wide.