Black Voters in Georgia Were Key to Biden’s Success and Forcing Potential Run-off in Senate

Pollster African American Research Collaborative, NAACP, and Vera Institute of Justice Release Findings Highlight How Black People in Georgia Voted, Why They Voted and How

Yesterday, the African American Research Collaborative (AARC), the
NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), and released findings highlighting the vote choices and motivations of Black voters in Georgia. The findings, which are based on data from the 2020 American Election Eve Poll completed by AARC, Latino Decisions, and Asian American Decisions, demonstrated the overwhelming support Biden received from Black voters in the state, which has been key to Biden’s efforts to win Georgia’s 16 electoral college votes.

According to the poll, nine out of 10 Black voters in Georgia supported Joe Biden, and nearly the same number voted for Democrat John Ossoff. More than 80 percent of Black voters also believed Georgians should have been able to choose how they wanted to vote — by mail, early, or in person — and the surge Biden is experiencing from mail-in ballots suggests many Black voters chose to vote early or by mail.

Biden’s support among Black voters was not a given, which was evidenced by the results of the early primaries. The strong support of Biden among Black voters is the result of a strategic consolidation of the Black voting bloc and Biden’s efforts to engage the Black community.

The former vice president’s plans to combat the Coronavirus pandemic is particularly important to Black Georgians, as nearly two out of three Black voters said the pandemic is the most important issue their community that politicians should address.
Opinion polling has consistently shown that mitigating the damage wrought by COVID-19 is the major issue of the 2020 election. This holds true regardless of race, but Black Americans continue to be disproportionately harmed by the pandemic, which influenced how and why they voted. In addition to it being a major issue, the pandemic is the lens through which voters understand and make sense of other important issues, such as health care, the economy, racial justice, and police brutality.

“People of color turned out overwhelmingly for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and white people turned out in a big way for Donald Trump. If Joe Biden wins, it means that a coalition led by people of color is now the dominant political reality in the US,” said Henry Fernandez, principal at AARC. “Most decisions Trump made as President and in his campaign were about stopping this transition to a country that is no longer dominated politically by white voters. He’s trying to turn back this sea change in American politics—a progressive sea change that has led to better health coverage, a focus on police reform, and a House of Representatives that has fought
Trump for the last two years.”

The poll of more than 15,000 Americans who voted included 4,100 African American
respondents from key battleground states, including Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin, as well as a national sample. The full array of data can be viewed on the 2020 American Election Eve Poll website.