A surge in turnout for black voters in Georgia fueled the fortunes of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, putting Democrats on hand to overthrow two Senate seats and take control of the chamber.
The predominantly black counties of rural Georgia had a turnout for Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff that nearly matched the Nov. 3 general election and margins that topped what President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. received when he defeated President Trump in the state.
In Calhoun County, which is 61% black and where most of the ballots were counted Tuesday night, Mr. Warnock was 19 percentage points ahead of 2,031 votes cast and Mr. Ossoff had an advantage of 18 points, compared to 15 for Mr. Biden. margin percentage out of 2,198 votes in November.
In Clay, Macon, Randolph and Washington counties, tiny predominantly black rural counties, Mr. Ossoff and Mr. Warnock got bigger margins than Mr. Biden with turnout that nearly hit the numbers. November – an extraordinary achievement considering the nature of the runoff.
Some of Georgia’s largest counties in metropolitan Atlanta, home to the state’s largest concentration of black voters, have yet to declare a majority of their votes, although they are expected to do so soon.
Data from TargetSmart, a Democratic political data company, revealed that nearly 50,000 black Georgians voted early in the Senate second round after failing to vote in the November 3 general election.
Dozens of grassroots organizations worked to win over black voters ahead of the second round, and in a campaign swing last weekend, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris targeted black neighborhoods where the turnout was early voting had been low.
“The vote black made the US Senate for Democrats,” said Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart.