Democrats are buoyed by the strong early vote numbers, which show Black voters making up a larger percentage of the electorate than in November and higher early turnout in Democratic congressional districts in the state. Both are positive signs for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, the two challengers, easing fears that the typical voter dropoff that has plagued Democrats in past years would doom the party’s chances with control of the Senate on the line.

Meanwhile, early-vote turnout has lagged in Republican-held congressional districts, likely leaving GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue with a larger deficit heading into Election Day than they had to make up on Nov. 3, with early voting concluding this week leading up to the New Year’s holiday…

“While the combined total number of votes cast so far by absentee mail-in and in-person early voting is a couple points more Democratic than it was in the fall, this is likely to be the result of early voting in the run-off being cut by two days,” [Karl] Rove wrote in the memo, referencing the fact that early voting sites were closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. “We expect GOP numbers to keep rising this week and forecasts show good weather for Run-Off Day, Jan. 5.”