Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Early Voting in Georgia Has Already Started

We are in the home stretch now. After a decision last week by the Georgia Supreme Court, early voting in the Senate runoff began on Saturday. Georgia law states that early voting for an election may begin as early as practical but not within two days of a holiday, so as to give people time to recover from the holiday. Republicans went to court to block voting on Saturday, when people have time off from work to vote. However, the Court ruled that the wording of the law made it apply to primaries and general elections, but not to runoffs. So voting has already started in 27 of the 159 Georgia counties. These include Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties (Atlanta) and Chatham County (Savannah). It is up to each county to determine when early voting starts except that all counties must begin by today. About half the state's population had the opportunity to vote on Saturday. So what the Republicans were faced with was early voting in blue counties this past weekend but not in red counties.

The total time available for early voting was slashed 66% by a 2021 Georgia law designed to suppress turnout. Democrats know this and are furiously working on their ground game now to get more voters to the polls in a compressed time frame. Raphael Warnock had $30 million left in his campaign account after the general election to Herschel Walker's $10 million. No doubt both candidates will be spending as fast as they can on their GOTV operations, but Warnock has a lot more to spend.

On Saturday, turnout was heavy. Over 70,000 people voted, slightly fewer than the 79,700 who voted on the first Saturday of the general election. Among the people voting on Saturday were students who attend college out of state but were back in their home state of Georgia for Thanksgiving. Also people trying to escape holiday guests. Early voting will end on Friday because Republicans want to avoid Black churches ferrying "souls to the polls" on the Sunday before Election Day,

Warnock has arranged a special guest to campaign with him on Thursday—Barack Obama. Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) will campaign for Walker. So far, neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump has scheduled a visit.

Abortion is going to be a big issue because last week the Georgia Supreme Court also reinstated the state's ban on abortion after 6 weeks. Republicans cheered the decision, but it may come back to bite them in the form of higher turnout among Democrats between now and Dec. 6.

Considering how important this race is, there has been very little polling. In the only neutral poll of the runoff so far, Warnock leads 51% to 47%. We hope there will be more polling this week. Maybe the pollsters felt that polling during Thanksgiving wasn't a good idea. (V)

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