Georgia youth are flocking to the polls for the runoff

The youth vote comes out in Georgia.

A new AARP poll shows incumbent Raphael Warnock leads soccer legend Herschel Walker by a whopping 24 percentage points among voters aged 18 to 49 in the Senate runoff.

Walker now leads by nine points among voters aged 50 and over, the poll shows.

Overall, the poll has Democratic Warnock by a slim 51% to 47% lead over Republican challenger Walker.

In addition, data from Georgia’s Secretary of State shows that Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, has the third highest turnout among 18-24 year olds, behind 50-54 year olds and 55-60 year olds.

The numbers suggest the state’s strong message to encourage families to vote together may be well received, as parents of 18-24 year olds are likely to be in their 50s-60s.

Nationwide, voters ages 18 to 24 make up the fifth largest turnout (9.9%) on Monday morning. The highest turnout (12.6%) is found among voters aged 55-60.

Early voting in Georgia began this weekend in the Dec. 6 runoff between Sen. Warnock and Walker after the Georgia Supreme Court denied a Republican emergency motion to prevent counties from offering an early vote on Saturday. More than 181,000 voters have already cast their vote.

Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling said Sunday’s turnout of 86,937 voters was 130% higher than the previous Sunday record of 37,785 set on Oct. 25, 2020. Warnock campaign manager Quentin Fulks further explained that Sunday’s turnout was higher than any Sunday in the 2018, 2020 and 2022 general election or the 2021 Senate runoff.

Sterling said the state is seeing a “monstrous early turnout” that is “busting doors,” adding that the number of people who voted Monday is on track to set the record for the highest-ever turnout.

“As of 2 p.m., 165,784 Georgians have cast their early votes. This could be the biggest early voting day in Georgia election history,” Sterling said tweeted.

Early voting will continue through Friday.

The special run-off election was ordered under Georgian law after neither candidate gained a majority of the votes in the general election earlier this month. Although Warnock led Walker by approximately 35,000 votes, he did not reach the 50% threshold for an outright win.

Even though Senate control is no longer at stake for Democrats, the runoff will be closely monitored.