Pollsters across the gambit told us that in 2020, Donald Trump would be lucky to hold his numbers from 2016. In fact, we were told he wasn’t going to win additional support from the minority community (he did), he was going to lose considerable support amongst women (he didn’t), and that there was going to be a massive Republican cross-over vote that would deliver the race to Biden (there wasn’t). In Georgia, a state that Trump won by 5 points in 2016, I had (wrongly) predicted that Trump was going to easily win again by 3 or 4 points. I figured that, like Ohio (which I also put into this category), Trump had done well amongst his base and could expect gains. And He did. He gained additional votes over his 2016 performance in every Georgia county except 2.
In the past 8 years, Georgia has seen considerable growth in voter registration. In running some numbers last night, I found that Georgia has had significant voter registration in some areas in just the last 30 days. In Georgia, they do not register voters according to a political party, so it is hard for me to determine the ideological breakdown of those voters, but nevermind that, because the growth in vote we are about to cover today is so far above that, that we can just reliably say that this just doesn’t happen. In prior analyses, I have used 2012 numbers because Clinton dropped from 2012 turnout. In the case of the counties we are looking at in Georgia, Clinton increased over 2012 turnout, so we will be looking at comparisons to 2016 data.
Remember, in other states I have covered, we have seen rises in the registration of, at max, 12 or 13 percent over the last 8 years. This is because the rust belt, largely because of garbage trade policies, has lost a great deal of industry over the course of the last 50 years. Georgia, on the other hand, has increased by an average of 26.59% in each county in the state. That is obviously going to be a consideration as we dig deeper into these numbers. However, in each of the counties I am about to discuss, Biden not only beat Obama’s 2012 turnout (population growth and all) but also population growth. If we awarded every single newly-registered voter over the last 4 years, they still found more voters to “turnout.”
For instance, let’s start with Gwinnett County, which has over a 50% minority population. Let’s remember that Trump outperformed his 2016 minority turnout in every other swing state metro area, in some cases by double digits. Suddenly, in the counties in Georgia we are looking at today, not only does this trend stop, but it reverses to 1994 Crime Bill Joe. Not only did Clinton overperform Obama in 2016 in this county, but she also did so by 25.39%. Again, Biden barely overperformed Clinton in Philadelphia and underperformed Obama in Milwaukee. In Gwinnett, Biden outperformed Obama by 82.50%. Now, remember, we can factor population growth as a big factor of this number, so let’s not get carried away just yet. Biden outperformed Clinton by 45.54%. Now we can start asking some questions. First, Biden certainly doesn’t have the chops that Obama did, so how does he not only outperform Clinton where he barely met those marks in other states, but wind up smashing Obama’s turnout even when awarded every newly registered voter? In Gwinnett County, Biden received 75,674 more voters than Clinton, which in itself, could be explainable by Clinton’s lack of performance in 2016. Except it doesn’t — Clinton also outperformed Obama by 33,644 votes. Let’s give Democrats every benefit of the doubt for interest’s sake. Let’s award them all new voters since 2016. Biden still overperformed that number by 21,240. To add further questions to the matter, Gwinnett’s 2016 turnout was 59.25%. 2020? 71% Yeah, I don’t think so.
But this trend continues to other nearby counties, like Cobb, where Biden overperformed Clinton by 61,723 votes. Again, even if we award every new voter for 4 years to the Dems, they still beat that number by 32,852 voters. Again, I can understand a shift in voter attitude regarding Trump. A lot of people found him unlikeable, but to say that every new voter in the county could have voted for Biden and they still beat that by 32,000 voters is completely bananas. The turnout for Cobb County in 2016 was 61.53%. 2020’s was 73.23%, a nearly 12% increase. Remember, no other metro area we have looked at thus far has seen an increase anywhere near that.
In Fulton County, Biden received 84,006 more votes than Clinton, a 28.28% rise over 2016 numbers. Again, as we have discussed, that rise can be blamed squarely on population increase, however, to show just how ridiculous these turnout numbers were, we are taking the practice of awarding all new voters to the Democrats. Even if we give those voters to Biden in Fulton County, Biden still overperformed that by 36,382 voters. 2016 turnout for Fulton was 54.5%. This year it was 64.87%, a 10.35% increase. The state average was 8.38% (including these giant numbers of increase in these counties, if factored without them, it would be 2-3% lower).
Lastly, in Dekalb County, Biden overperformed Clinton by 56,742 votes or 22.57%. If we award every new voter in the county since 2016 to Biden, Dems still added another 37,060 more voters than that. Turnout also increased by double digits, from 57.34% to 67.67%, or a 10.32% increase. Shocking? Yes. Unexplainable? Also yes.
What makes these numbers even more staggering is that we have already awarded ALL of the new voters to Biden for argument’s sake and Trump still saw increases over 2016, by double-digit percentages in 3 of the 4 counties. Trump increased in EVERY county in Georgia except 2, and Biden underperformed Obama in more than 40% of counties in the state. Trump’s gains were across the board. Biden’s were isolated. For instance, if we were to normalize these massive increases, or even just divide the increase above ALL registered voters, Trump would win Georgia.
It will certainly be interesting to watch the hand recount and audit coming out of Georgia. It likely will make or break the Trump legal challenge effort.