InsiderAdvantage: Dems, GOP Battle to Target Georgia’s New Voters

Phil Kent

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently researched voter registration growth and found that over 1.6 million new names have been added to Georgia’s rolls over the past four years. It’s a diverse group, and totals more than the entire population of 11 states. 

The newspaper, in its analysis, writes that many of the new voters “come from groups that typically support Democrats, including people of color, those under age 35 and people from other states who moved to urban and suburban areas in Georgia.” 

For additional perspective on Georgia’s demographic picture, consider that the white vote declined from 54 to 52 percent over those four years, the black vote held steady at 30 percent and the biggest growth in registered voters came from people the identifying as Hispanic and Asian.  

It is true in 2018 that activist groups controlled by Stacey Abrams, who this year is again the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, did an impressive job of especially targeting non-white voters and turning them out statewide. But since then Republicans say they’ve made gains among these new voters, judging by higher turnout than Democrats in this year’s primaries and larger participation from Hispanic voters.  

Just analyze, for example, the May 2024 party primaries: 1.18 million votes were tallied on the Republican side of the U.S. Senate race compared to 731,594 in the Democratic column. The same story goes for the governor (1.2 million versus 727,168) and lieutenant governor (1.1 million versus 690,589) primaries, and up and down the entire ticket. 

The Greater Georgia mobilization organization, headed by former GOP U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, imitated the Abrams strategy by, in her words, “registering tens of thousands of voters, re-engaging thousands more, and building the coalition of voters that have already moved the needle toward greater conservative engagement.” 

InsiderAdvantage staff writer Cindy Morley reports that Greater Georgia over the past 19 months held over a dozen Hispanic voter registration events at “super mercados” and other Hispanic community venues and held a half dozen Hispanic roundtables with community leaders and business leaders from across metro Atlanta. Greater Georgia also launched the state’s first statewide Spanish-language voter registration television ad. 

Morley also found Greater Georgia helped drive up turnout for the May 2022 midterm primary and tallied record numbers. Not only did Georgia see a 98 percent increase in conservative voter turnout, there was also a 152 percent average increase in minority support for conservative candidates.  A majority of Hispanic voters cast conservative ballots for the first time ever and over 279,000 were new conservative voters who had not voted in any of the last four primary elections.  

While most Republicans admit the new four-year voter influx probably does include a large but unknown bloc of Democrats, Loeffler believes this is countered by her group targeting the new Hispanic voters as well as non-registered whites in GOP-leaning areas.  

Bert Brantley, an aide to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, offers this observation: “Long term, the political parties and individual candidates will have to think about how they reach out to these new voters– many who have moved here because of policies that have created long term economic growth and opportunities. We should be willing to engage in that kind of policy argument and see which argument prevails.”  

He also notes Republicans “should also set aside false claims about voter suppression that have been disproven over and over– and call out those who have spread them.” 

Phil Kent is the CEO and Publisher of InsiderAdvantage Georgia.