Here’s are some statistics to make you sit up and take notice:
Turnout among black voters soared in last month’s Georgia primary, a show of strength that could bode well for Democrats in this year’s contests for governor and other statewide offices.
The number of black voters rose 43 percent in the May 22 election when compared with 2010, the last time there was a competitive race for governor, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of demographic data released this week by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
The data show the broad majority of African-American voters pulled Democratic ballots, which could bolster the hope of Stacey Abrams, who is racing to be the nation’s first black female governor. Her Republican opponent will be decided in a July 24 runoff between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
At the same time, the proportion of white voters continues to decline. White voter participation in last month’s primary was down 9 percent from 2010. And white voters are more likely to be conservative, making up 93 percent of the GOP primary vote — and just 30 percent of the Democratic support.
I assume some of this is purely related to the enthusiasm around Stacey Abrams and the prospect of electing the first black governor in the nation’s history, but it could indicate a higher degree of political engagement for the black community in this year’s elections in general. One thing the Republicans cannot rationalize is the decline in participation from their base.