Early turnout in Georga runoff election has Democrats optimistic, Republicans expect election day surge

The long lines at the polls during the early voting period in Georgia's U.S. Senate race are a welcome sight for Democrats, who traditionally vote heavily during the early voting period.

"It's good for Democrats, and it is really good for (Sen. Raphael Warnock's) campaign," Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes.

As early voting draws to a close, Johnson said the Warnock campaign must build on that momentum heading into Tuesday.


"Make sure we have a good election day," Johnson said. "And I think ultimately Senator Warnock is prepared for that. He is battle-tested this is not his first runoff."

Republican political strategist Brian Robinson points out that as of Tuesday only two percent of general election voters who cast their ballot on election day had turned out to vote in the runoff.

"Republicans have a significant advantage on Election Day. Even though Herschel Walker finished with fewer votes in the first round than Raphael Warnock, he got nearly 220,000 more votes on election day," Robinson said.

He is encouraged by the early voter turnout the GOP is seeing in some of the biggest Republican counties this week, and believes Gov. Brian Kemp's endorsement of GOP opponent Herschel Walker could help him secure the votes of Republicans who split the ticket last election.

"One thing that the Walker campaign needs to accomplish in order to keep this close and have a path to victory is to get Kemp voters who are unsure about him, who are unsure about Walker and the only person who can help do that is Brian Kemp," Robinson said.

With polls showing the candidates running neck and neck, Johnson said Warnock is working to gain the support of voters who voted libertarian during the general election and getting his core supporters to turnout for the runoff.

"Ultimately I believe that voters believe that Senator Warnock is the best choice to go back to Washington to represent Georgia," Johnson said.