Backfire: 34% of black voters in Georgia now believe it'll be somewhat or very difficult to vote this year

AP Photo/Steve Helber

So maybe Republicans won’t be the only party to blow a winnable race in Georgia because the guy in charge won’t stop pushing propaganda about illegitimate elections.

This Quinnipiac poll from a few days ago has the upcoming gubernatorial and Senate races almost as tight as the Trump/Biden race in 2020. Brian Kemp leads Stacey Abrams by two points, 49/47. Herschel Walker leads Raphael Warnock by a single point, 49/48. Every vote will matter.

Meanwhile, Democrats just spent a year trying to convince Georgia voters that it’ll be all but impossible for them to vote under the state’s new “Jim Crow” voting law unless Congress steps in and overrides it.

How much will that end up suppressing their own turnout? Enough to flip close races to the GOP?

Looking ahead to the 2022 general elections, 61 percent of registered voters expect it will be very easy to vote, but there are wide differences by party and race. Eighty-five percent of Republicans expect it will be very easy to vote in Georgia in 2022, versus 60 percent of independents and 41 percent of Democrats. Among Black registered voters, only 40 percent expect it to be very easy to vote in 2022, while 73 percent of white registered voters expect it to be very easy…

Republicans (70 percent) say they are very confident that all eligible citizens in Georgia will have a fair opportunity to vote in the 2022 general elections, while 42 percent of independents and 13 percent of Democrats are very confident. Among white voters, 54 percent say they are very confident compared to only 18 percent of Black voters.

Thirty-four percent of black voters believe it’ll be somewhat or very difficult to vote compared to just 10 percent of whites. That’s a direct result of Democratic scaremongering about Georgia’s new law, as 91 percent of African-American voters said it was very or somewhat easy to vote in 2020. This isn’t a case of black Georgians being chronically pessimistic about voting access due to the state’s history, in other words. Biden, Stacey Abrams, and their allies have persuaded them to be pessimistic about voting in the midterms.

When you ask people if they expect every Georgian to have a fair opportunity to vote this fall, the numbers turn even grimmer. Twenty-five percent of whites say they’re not very confident or not at all confident that voting opportunities will be fair. Among blacks that share is almost double, at 47 percent.

Thanks to her tireless efforts to demagogue the new law, Abrams may have ended up talking herself into a defeat in her upcoming election.

…Or will she? The message Trump pushed on Republican voters a year ago is different in a critical way from the message Abrams and Biden have broadcast since then. Trump’s pitch was fatalistic, that the vote-counting process is rigged. If that’s true then it doesn’t matter if you show up to vote or not; the nefarious Democrats will see to it that your ballot isn’t counted. The Abrams/Biden pitch is that the vote-casting process is being obstructed. But if you can get to the polls and cast your ballot, it will be counted. It’s not hopeless.

Some black voters, hearing that, may become more inclined to vote than they were before, to stick it to the Republicans who are supposedly trying to keep them from the polls. Others who intended to vote all along may resolve to be extra diligent about casting their ballot early this year to make sure that they don’t run into any shenanigans to impede them from voting on Election Day. The Biden/Abrams message isn’t pure downside for Democrats.

But there’s surely some downside. Some voters are destined to hear the lament about how supposedly difficult voting has become in Georgia and grow hopeless about the process. If it’s that hard to cast a ballot, there’s no point in wasting time trying, right?

There is some good news for Dems in Quinnipiac’s data, though. A meaningful share of Republicans remain under the sway of Trump’s idiocy about elections being rigged, as demonstrated by this response when people are asked how confident they are that the votes will be counted fairly this fall:

Twenty-eight percent of Democrats are not very confident or not at all confident that the count will be fair. Among Republicans, it’s 47 percent. You can see Trump’s effect in the divide between whites with college degrees and whites without degrees too. The second group, Trump’s base, has 40 percent saying they’re not very confident in a fair count. Among the first group, it’s 29 percent.

Even so, we should be careful not to assume from that result that Republicans with doubts about the fairness of elections will be less likely to turn out. According to some polls, as illogical as it may be, GOPers who claim to doubt that the midterms will be fair are more excited to vote this fall than other Republicans are. For some people, it seems, doubting elections is less a matter of considered judgment than of simply echoing whatever point Trump wants them to echo. The MAGAs who believe elections are rigged may be first in line to vote in November.

By the way, Quinnipiac also has Joe Biden rocking a 36/59 job approval in Georgia, a state he won in 2020. Among independents, he’s at 28/66. If those numbers hold, I doubt it’ll matter which Democrats and which Republicans end up being inadvertently talked out of voting by their own parties. Democrats will lose regardless.