U.S. Senate candidate Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock (D) says “a new South” has emerged and with it will come demographic changes that will flip the state of Georgia, long a Republican stronghold, to the Democratic Party.
“This is a ‘new South’,” he said. “It’s more diverse. It’s forward-looking. It’s inclusive. And it’s ready to flip blue.”
“The good news is that since 2018, we’ve registered 800,000 new voters in the state of Georgia,” he continued, noting nearly half were minority voters and others were younger voters under the age of 30. “You are witnessing the emergence of the New South, the reversal of the Southern strategy, and Georgia is the tip of the spear.”
Warnock says Black voters have proven key to flipping the state during an election with the highest turnout in recent memory. He says Black voters have been particularly motivated to vote and that healthcare access is a key issue among this voting bloc. Voters have taken to him, he told Yahoo Finance, because of his stance on healthcare.
“When Georgia refused to expand Medicaid in this state, I stood up and said, we have to expand Medicaid. At that point, we had 400,000 Georgians in the Medicaid gap,” Warnock said. “Now we have 500,000. Thanks in part to COVID-19, folks are in the Medicaid gap. People don’t have access to the care that they need. Rural hospitals in this state are closing while we’re subsidizing health care in other states. Not only is it impacting our health care system, it’s a drag on our economy.”
3.9 million voters have already cast early or absentee ballots in the state, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Election Day will continue to see a high turnout. Polls in the state close at 7 p.m., so it will be one of the first states to release election results. In August, the state passed a rule allowing tabulators to open and scan absentee ballots soon after polls close.
Voting has already hit a few snags, with voting machines down in several locations including Spalding County, just south of Atlanta. Emergency paper ballots have been deployed to keep up with the voting surge. Election officials predicted crowds and long wait times.
Warnock is running against incumbent Senator Kelly Loeffler (R), who earlier this year became embroiled in an insider trading scandal after financial disclosures showed she and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who chairs the New York Stock Exchange, sold stock vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic. Loeffler denied any wrongdoing.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.