Speed Reads

georgia senate runoffs

Big early voting turnout suggests Georgia Democrats have an edge going into runoff elections

Polls aren't offering much of a hint as to how Georgia's Senate races will fall next week, but early voting is suggesting Democrats have the lead.

Early voting for the two runoff races is largely wrapping up Wednesday before the New Year holiday, leaving Georgians a final chance to vote on the actual election day of Jan. 5. And while Republicans have known they'll need to make up for Democrat-heavy early votes on election day, voting patterns suggest they'll have more catching up to do this election than ever before, Politico reports.

As of Tuesday, more than 2.3 million Georgians had already voted early — a total surpassing overall turnout in any runoff election before. Turnout has been especially high in Democratic congressional districts, and many more Black voters have joined the electorate since November. Meanwhile, turnout in Republican districts has faltered, "likely leaving GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue with a larger deficit heading into Election Day than they had to make up on Nov. 3," Politico reports. Turnout will be a big deciding factor in this election, though some allies of President Trump had discouraged Republicans from voting as they pushed conspiracy theories about the security of Georgia's elections.

Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor who has led voter turnout efforts in the state, told CNN on Monday that about 65,000 people who didn't vote in November have already done so in the runoffs. They have been "disproportionately under the age of 29 and people of color," Abrams said, only adding to Democrats' perceived advantage.

Loeffler and her GOP challenger Rep. Doug Collins brought in a combined 63,000 more votes than Democrat Raphael Warnock in the November elections, while Perdue had about 88,000 over Democrat Jon Ossoff. No candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote, leading to these runoffs.