search
Sections List
American Journal News

Fate of Senate could hinge on young voter turnout in Georgia

Strong turnout among voters under 30 nationwide helped propel Democrat Joe Biden to victory over Trump in the November presidential election

By Associated Press - December 28, 2020
Share
Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock

Preethi Gowrishankar was never really politically active before this year. But watching polarization increase during Donald Trump’s administration changed that.

The 27-year-old data scientist put on a face mask and stood in line on a recent sunny but cold day in Atlanta to cast a ballot early for Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock ahead of Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff elections that will determine control of the U.S. Senate.

“We’ve seen in the last four years what apathy leads to and where it can get us,” she said. “So I’ve tried to make an effort to become a lot more informed of my choices and to make my voice heard.”

Strong turnout among voters under 30 nationwide helped propel Democrat Joe Biden to victory over Trump in the November presidential election. Young voters were key to Biden’s narrow win in Georgia, with a margin of just under 12,000 votes.

Now, with the national spotlight on Georgia’s Senate races, the campaigns and voter mobilization groups are working furiously to make sure young voters turn out for the runoffs, which pit Ossoff and Warnock against Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. A win by either Republican would maintain the Senate majority for the GOP, while a sweep by both Democrats would yield of 50-50 split in the chamber, with the tie-breaking vote going to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The push to connect with young voters has been especially apparent for the Democratic campaigns, which have more to gain from youth turnout — and more to lose if there’s a drop-off.

Ossoff and Warnock have held rallies in college towns, invested in staff to help register and mobilize young voters, engaged social media influencers to promote content and run ad campaigns on new media and digital platforms. They recently hosted a game night on Twitch, a livestreaming platform popular with young gamers. Ossoff also has made a push to connect with voters through TikTok, a video sharing app used by millions of U.S. teens.

Perdue’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment, and Loeffler’s campaign directed questions to Abigail Sigler, a spokeswoman for the state Republican Party. Sigler did not answer a specific question asking how the campaigns are reaching out to young voters but sent a statement attacking Ossoff and Warnock and asserting that policies backed by Perdue and Loeffler are better for young voters.

In Georgia, people under 30 cast about 16% of the votes in the November election, compared with 13% nationwide, according to AP VoteCast. About 6 in 10 voters under 30 in Georgia backed Biden over Trump. But like voters overall, youngers voters split starkly by race and ethnicity. Young non-white voters backed Biden overwhelmingly, with roughly 8 in 10 supporting Democrats. Among young white voters, Trump was favored by about two to one.

Nse Ufot is the executive director of the New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan group founded by former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams.

“From registration, to actually turning out to vote, to volunteering, we’ve absolutely witnessed and been a part in the increase in youth participation in our elections,” Ufot said.

The group registered thousands of young voters during nationwide protests against racial inequality this year, launched an intensive effort to combat misinformation about voting on social media and have leaned into virtual events and virtual mobilization efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic, efforts that are continuing through the runoff elections.

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, the director of CIRCLE at Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, which studies youth voting trends, said youth voting turnout is being affected by both external investment and peer-to-peer political engagement among young people.

“Especially in the pandemic era of 2020, there is both mobilization from external groups and political parties, but also huge amounts of young people making social media contact to communicate what they believe politically, who they think people should vote for and the issues that they really care about,” she said.

Young Democrats aren’t the only ones who are engaging. Young Republican voters, weary of having Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress, have been mainstays at the large rallies held by Perdue and Loeffler.

Dylan Leonard, a 20-year-old student from Milton, Georgia, sat on a park bench after a recent rally in the wealthy suburb of Atlanta where Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser, touted Perdue and Loeffler as “the last line of defense” against Democrats imposing their agenda on the nation.

He lamented Trump’s election loss but sounded a hopeful note that Republicans can be redeemed with victories in the Senate runoffs.

“Hopefully we’ll have a good go around. It hasn’t been exactly what we’ve wanted so far,” Leonard said. “But hopefully we’ll put it all together with Georgia.”


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Cannabis workers across Missouri begin push to unionize dispensaries 

Cannabis workers across Missouri begin push to unionize dispensaries 

By Rebecca Rivas - December 04, 2023
Curtis Hertel Jr. places public service over politics in Michigan congressional run

Curtis Hertel Jr. places public service over politics in Michigan congressional run

By Alyssa Burr - October 20, 2023
Republican Virginia Senate candidate Danny Diggs has ties to hate groups and extremists

Republican Virginia Senate candidate Danny Diggs has ties to hate groups and extremists

By Josh Israel - October 20, 2023
Demands grow for Wisconsin Supreme Court to redraw the state’s legislative maps

Demands grow for Wisconsin Supreme Court to redraw the state’s legislative maps

By Rebekah Sager - October 19, 2023
Pennsylvania elections 2023: A voter’s guide to the state Supreme Court race

Pennsylvania elections 2023: A voter’s guide to the state Supreme Court race

By Anna Gustafson - October 19, 2023
Pennsylvania elections 2023: What to know before you vote

Pennsylvania elections 2023: What to know before you vote

By Anna Gustafson - October 18, 2023
AJ News
Latest
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024
Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

Human, financial costs of gun violence are growing dramatically, health care group says

By Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024