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As Democrats eye Georgia, Black voters are key

Democrats said there is anecdotal evidence and hard data indicating that Black voters will play a bigger role in this election in Georgia than ever before.

ATLANTA — As voter registration ends on Monday, Georgia Democrats said they need maximum participation from African American voters to have any chance to flip the state. And they say the signs are encouraging. 

Democrats said there is anecdotal evidence and hard data indicating that Black voters will play a bigger role in this election in Georgia than ever before.

"Your voice is loudest heard at the polls. So be there. Show up," said state Sen. Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia), stumping for Democrat Jon Ossoff, a U.S. Senate candidate. 

Anderson is among those who expect Black voters to be a difference-maker this coming election.  And many of them will be new voters. 

The liberal group Fair Fight Action said its analysis shows 800,000 new voters registered in Georgia in the last two years – 49 percent of whom are people of color.

"Democrats have a growing base. Republicans have a dwindling base," said Republican Leo Smith. He said the numbers present a challenge for Republicans like U.S. Sen. David Perdue and President Donald Trump.  

The president headlined a “Black voices for Trump” event in Cobb County last month – but Smith says it papered over real challenges for the GOP.

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"I think the Republicans are in trouble when it comes to the Black vote for certain. They’ve always struggled with it. Now I think its going to be even more of a struggle," said Smith, a one-time GOP operative who'd been tasked to reach out to Black voters.  He broke with President Trump over comments the president made that Smith described as "racist trope." 

Smith said he’s not sure yet if he will vote for Trump next month, but said Republicans like Sen. Perdue are smart to try to put a little distance between themselves and the president if they don’t want to be completely dependent on white voters. 

Meantime, Rev. William Flippin, also stumping for Ossoff Monday, said Black voters are more and more motivated in this election.

"I don’t think its going to be a tremendous challenge this time because we are tired. We are weary," Flippin said. "We’re going to vote in big numbers."

Despite the trends, Democrats know it’s still a challenge  – given that no Democrat has won a statewide race in Georgia since 2006, and polls in 2020 are inconclusive for statewide candidates of both parties. 

    

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