Politics

Experts Deconstruct How Georgia’s Rural Communities Of Color Delivered For Democrats In November, Senate Runoffs

An official moves stacks of U.S. postal service trays as ballots are counted for Georgia's Senate runoff election at the Georgia World Congress Center last week in Atlanta.
An official moves stacks of U.S. postal service trays as ballots are counted for Georgia's Senate runoff election at the Georgia World Congress Center last week in Atlanta.
Credit Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

Democrats made some major gains outside of Georgia’s urban centers –such as Atlanta and Savannah –in the November presidential election and Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs. Experts with the Center for American Progress credit years of grassroots campaigning that targeted rural communities of color.

But as consultants, political scientists and the media continue deconstructing the latest elections, conversations are often framed in a rural versus urban context.

The story is deeper than just that, according to Gbenga Ajilore, who’s a senior economist with the Center for American Progress.

He spoke with WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress as the races had just been called for Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

In his recent report for CAP, Ajilore found that south Georgia counties like Columbia, Houston and Bryan showed significant increases in Democratic voter turnout in November. Ajilore said that Democratic gains in Georgia’s Evangelical hubs, or in middle-class, diverse communities near military posts, also carried over to the Senate runoffs.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report. 

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