Will Diversity, Women, Millennial Vote Impact Key Races, "Down Ballot"?

With nearly six weeks to go in Georgia’s midterm elections, with President Trump’s approval rating, according to Gallup, at 38 percent (Sept. 10-16), there’s a momentary media quietness in predicting outcomes for Georgia’s top executive branch races.
We’re talking about:  Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Superintendent, Public Service Commissioner (both Districts 3 and 5), Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, Commissioner of Labor, and Commissioner of Agriculture.
Perhaps that’s because of the number of variable dynamics at play for Georgians in November.
There’s been political coverage of: the rise in Georgia’s black and latino voter turnout (and Atlanta’s LGBT vote), the increase in women candidates (Georgia — and nationally), the potential voting block of millennial’s (combined with Gen Xers) — as well as the split within the Republican party over Trump.
“Down the ballot” conversations may become an even greater focus than the election norm, as a result. Even for Libertarians and the Independent- minded.
In addition, there is the variable of the rising number of first-time candidates running for Georgia’s top seats in the Democratic Party juxtaposed the number of Republican Party incumbents running.  It could prove for some of the most interesting Georgia voter turnout and results ever.
For instance, among the ten top executive offices, Georgia’s Republicans are running 9 white men and 1 white woman, six of which are incumbents(including their only woman candidate). Georgia’s Democrats are running 4 white men, 3 white women, 1 black man, and 2 black women, none of which are incumbents, and a couple of which are “new” to politics.
With the rise of social media, online platforms and information, as well as strategic use of cell phone text capabilities, conference calling, and expanded, easily accessible fundraising options, politics as usual in Georgia might end up being “not usual”.
Add to all of these variables one more: Awareness of issues with electronic voting in Georgia is at an all-time high. Given the level of awareness, the attention to electronic voting improvements will most likely not be going away soon. The impact on how Georgia’s voters will decide to vote in November is another unknown.
So, all things considered, the 2018 midterm elections in Georgia may end up being one not easily predictable.
Down ballot or no, we won’t have long to find out.

photo credit:  Wash Post/Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency
Harold Michael Harvey also contributed to this piece.


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