10/30 - The Counties That Turn Out

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Keep it 100, or 300 since that’s how many of you have decided to read this newsletter every time. And huge thanks to those of you who keep sharing it around, helping to get more people engaged to bring us interesting questions and ideas! We’ll keep working hard to make it worth your time.

With less than a week to go we keep seeing astounding early voting figures. The most interesting being the number of counties and political districts hitting and surpassing their total 2016 turnout during early voting and via absentee ballots cast. We will dive deeper into what that means this newsletter.

What will be the most interesting number to dissect after next Tuesday is the new voters to 2020 who did not vote in 2016. At this moment 27.1% of the votes cast have come from people who didn’t vote in 2016. This is 983,090 voters, and in our post-election breakdown we’ll look at what demos and voting history (if any) these voters have and what it means for 2022 state and midterm elections.

159 Counties and Only Three Are “Underperforming” on Turnout

With the massive turnout statewide the county breakdown starts to give some insights as to what is happening around Georgia. For the purposes of this discussion, and since turnout is surpassing anything we have ever seen in early voting, we have decided to use 60% of 2016 total votes as a good marker of where vote totals should be in each county.

Using that metric surprisingly only three counties have yet to surpass 60% of their 2016 total. Stephens County (47.7%), Pickens County (56.1%), and Hancock County (57.3%) haven’t crossed 60% yet, while 156 of their peers have. This is surprising as all 3 counties are in Congressional Districts that have seen very impressive turnout so far. The first two counties are in north Georgia and covered by the GA-09, currently represented by Senate Special candidate Doug Collins, while Hancock County is in GA-10 which actually leads the way in turnout.

On the other side of the coin, we are up to 15 counties that have passed their total 2016 vote total already. Four of the top performing counties in the state are in the Georgia 9th, where again we are seeing Doug Collins’s base turn out, bolstering support for his Senate bid.

Early this week when we looked at these numbers it seemed like there was weakness in many of the Democratic strongholds. Only Liberty County, down on the Georgia coast, was pushing up near 100% for the longest time. But my, how things change. As of this morning’s update, Liberty County, Henry County, and Fulton County (!?!!) have all surpassed their 2016 vote totals. Meanwhile Gwinnett, Rockdale, Dekalb, and Glynn are all over 96% of 2016 and seem primed to cross over the 100% threshold today.

Drop Off Your Mail Ballots!

With all of these counties over 100% of turnout, it would be reasonable to assume that the mail vote has been driving this. And you wouldn’t be wrong, but there’s actually still a lot of mail left to count!

There are still nearly 35% of mail ballots that have not been processed yet, meaning we could have as many as 625,000 more mail votes left to go. Some of this is from mail that has already been received and not processed yet, we know that this has been the case in Fulton and Gwinnett Counties at times. But there are definitely ballots that haven’t been sent back yet. If you are one of these people, find a drop box or take your ballot to the polls to surrender and vote in-person!

Counties with the biggest number of outstanding mail ballots:

87,847 - Fulton
63,385 - Dekalb
61,206 - Gwinnett
51,504 - Cobb
21,860 - Chatham
19,405 - Clayton
17,880 - Forsyth
15,341 - Henry
13,902 - Richmond
13,450 - Cherokee

You may recognize some of those counties from the previous section talking about folks already over 100% turnout. So yeah, it’s gonna be unreal turnout.

Other Links

There’s a lot going on in politics, so we wanted to also share a few other links that we found interesting this week.

- In the most over hyped category this week. Is the reveal that the White House Anonymous official was someone most politicos hadn’t even really heard of and who hadn’t kept his views quiet since he left the administration.

- George Soros is now the biggest point of contention in the Chatham County DA race and a reminder that Democrats are now paying attention to local offices as a way to move policy agendas.

- And if you are into soccer or cheering for underdogs be sure to follow Club Brugge and their surprising run to advance in the UEFA Champions League this year. Bonus points for them being led by 25 year old American goalkeeper, Ethan Horvath.


We react to what y’all want to know. So do not be afraid to inquire or ask us anything. Post the November and probably ultimately post January runoffs we will recap take away from 2020. We continue to respond to what we are hearing. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions, by responding to this email or reaching out to Ryan directly on Twitter (@gtryan).