The polls are closing in Georgia and results starting to come in. With 1% of the vote counted, this is what it looked like as of about 40 minutes ago. [Note: updates on vote totals are at the end. Look for time markers. New note: Bonus meditation on Georgia as the Dominion poster child starting in 2019 is in the 10:00 PM update. – J.E.]
The results are from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The AP results offered by Google look weird (in the Loeffler-Warnock race, there are no numbers; all it says is Warnock is leading), so for now we’ll be going with the AJC figures.
This isn’t a surprise early in the count. I compiled some information earlier today that shows how much of the vote was cast before today, and it’s almost certain to represent more than 50%.
The figures are there for the 3 November Senate races, but the major comparison on the right is with the presidential election, as that sets the high-water mark for the total number of votes we might be looking for. Getting to the presidential total of 3 November would require about 1.9 million votes on 5 January 2021. Georgia could actually do that without long lines at the polling stations on Tuesday.
The early voting total framed in yellow breaks down as follows.
In-person (tends to slightly favor GOP): 2,074,994
By mail (tends to favor Dems): 1,018,381 accepted to date (355,983 not returned yet. The current total of ballots rejected is 3,880; that’s inching down as they apparently move out the “cured”)
Today’s turnout, meanwhile, going by historical patterns, would favor Trump (that is, the Republicans) pretty decisively.
We will see, of course.
A fascinating development from Washington, D.C., where the folks who have flocked there for the mass “March for Trump” rally on Wednesday are holding a rally in Freedom Plaza this evening.
DC just turned the power off to the rally…no lights, no mike…they think they own us
— 🇺🇸Tek-No-Crap – Awomen🇺🇸 (@mskellymac007) January 6, 2021
Washington, D.C. is showing its stripes now, without the slightest attempt at subterfuge? I suppose there’s a tiny, outside chance this is a coincidence.
Updates as they come in.
9:00 PM EST:
This is the picture with 20% of the vote tallied. As I understand it, this represents at least some of the early vote as well as today’s in-person voting at the polls. The in-person early vote would be electronically recorded anyway, so it shouldn’t require the time-consuming procedures with hand-counting the mail-in ballots.
The early vote was expected to favor the Democrats more, although the in-person early vote would be expected to show more favorably for Republicans, if only slightly. Bottom line: it’s too early to say right now. No one is calling the races, at any rate.
10:00 PM EST:
Razor-thin leads now, as many expected, for Perdue and Loeffler.
Meanwhile, a brief review of how we got here, as it’s a bit interesting. How many states were there in 2019 where the red was starting to bleed off into purple, voting-patterns-wise, and it could be fruitful to try to flip two Senate seats — not just one — from Republican to Democratic in the 2020 and 2022 elections?
Not many. Other states with two Republican senators are, for the most part, solidly red. Moreover, they don’t fill the bill for senators up for election in 2020 and 2022. Georgia was that exact state, however.
So that’s an interesting condition prevailing at the time Georgia decided to flood the entire state with Dominion voting machines (i.e., the September 2019 contract).
David Perdue had been in the Senate since 2015; he was due to run in 2020. Johnny Isaakson, first elected to the Senate in 2004, was due to run in 2022.
But Isaakson retired early from his seat in December 2019 for health reasons. Governor Kemp appointed Kelly Loeffler to fill that seat, which would then be filled in a special election run on the timetable of the 2020 election cycle. So between September 2019 and December 2019, the Georgia flip-potential situation went from 2020 and 2022, to both seats being voted on in 2020.
In light of that shift, it is absolutely fascinating to cull the public record and recognize that the implementation of Dominion voting machines for the 2020 election was being called “rushed,” with criticism about the impact on the vote, in the months before the primaries (with complaints resurfacing during the primary season). See here, here, and here, for example. These are hardly “right-wing conspiracy” outlets.
Maybe Democrat-backing political planners who search the country for county commissioner, district attorney, and sheriff races to try to flip weren’t paying attention to the fact that two GOP-held U.S. Senate seats in Georgia would be subject to challenge in 2020 — a rare situation involving only the voting arrangements of a single state.
But it’s much more rational to assume those planners were paying attention. Food for thought.
11:00 PM EST:
Here’s the vote picture with Perdue and Loeffler retaining their slim leads at the top of the hour.
They’re using an “election needle” at the New York Times to keep the narrative going that it looks narrow but grim for the Republicans.
— Tara Dublin is Ready For #BidenCalm (@taradublinrocks) January 6, 2021
People are sharing the NYT graphic all over social media and high-fiving each other. This in spite of the fact that Perdue and Loeffler have their narrow, if slightly widening leads over Ossoff and Warnock.
Interesting that the election needle is a simplistic, uninformative visual. That’s not a statement that there’s nothing behind it, but it is a statement that it’s obviously meant to be an abbreviated touchstone — a tool of rote mental persuasion. It sets up expectations without keeping clearly before its client (you) what those expectations are based on.
Trump tweeted this about 40 minutes ago.
Looks like they are setting up a big “voter dump” against the Republican candidates. Waiting to see how many votes they need?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Hmm. Remember the axiom: Trump never tweets in vain.
11:30 PM EST:
As of just after 11:00 PM, ballot-counters for Chatham County (Savannah) have reportedly been sent home and are to come back in the morning.
BREAKING: Chatham County has stopped counting votes for the night.
Workers say they’ll be back at 8 a.m.
— Mike Yoder (@Yoder_Esqq) January 6, 2021
The Savannah area, while a large urban concentration, is by no means one of the bigger ones in Georgia. The county has under 300,000 population-wise as of 2019. I’m not seeing information from observers who may have insight as to what’s going on. I’d expect that to come over social media rather than through the conventional mainstream.
Of note, Trump’s tweet about preparing for a ballot dump was sent over 30 minutes before the media started reporting that the Chatham County vote count was closing down for the night.
6 January 2021
1:30 AM EST:
Shortly after Chatham County suspended its ballot count, Warnock surpassed Loeffler again in their tight race and was called as the winner by the media. Here are the latest numbers for both races; Perdue-Ossoff is still being considered too close to call.
Here’s something strange. Atlanta 11, an NBC affiliate, was broadcasting an update from the Georgia Secretary of State office in the 11 PM hour, and just at the moment the spokesman began to speak about the Chatham County suspension, the broadcast from the SoS location cut out. It was rather blatantly timed and yet another instance of “C’mon man!” You can view it for yourselves by going to this YouTube broadcast. It remains live for now but should be good as a recorded video for at least a few days.
Find the cut-out by watching the digital time display on the lower right, as you see in this image capture.
The cut-out sequence occurs just after the clock updates from 11:38 to 11:39. Apologies that I don’t have time to clip it for you.
NOTE: If there are important updates to this post I’ll add them. However, I want to get up separately a few observations about the overall picture as discussed in my latest “key supporting effort” article, on events that seem to be emerging with startling blatancy. Points to ponder for now: I’m not sure what triggered Trump’s 10:28 PM tweet about Georgia preparing for a questionable ballot dump, but it was something I didn’t see. Maybe others out in the general public did; I’d be interested to know. It may suggest Trump was working from information he has that we don’t.
Also, Pennsylvania’s lawmakers have forwarded a letter to Congress asking that the state vote not be considered certified for the purposes of the 6 January certification of the Electoral College vote.
— Rob & Flat _ (@robandflat) January 6, 2021
The letter asks for time to have a case heard by the Supreme Court. It’s a good question what’s going to happen on Wednesday 6 January (which is now “today,” on the East coast). If the results of the Perdue-Ossoff race aren’t known, the Democrats may actually decide they’d rather wait and seat new senators from Georgia before holding the EC certification vote.