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How voters who sat out 2016 played a role in Georgia’s runoffs

Georgia voters who sat out the 2016 election that brought President Donald Trump into the White House were more likely to support Democratic candidates for the state’s two open Senate seats this week, according to Associated Press VoteCast data.

Among voters who did not cast a ballot in 2016, 37 percent voted for one of the Democratic challengers, Rev. Raphael Warnock, compared to 21 percent who backed Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Those votes contributed to Warnock’s historic win as the state’s first Black senator, and the 11th Black person to serve in the U.S. Senate.

READ MORE: 3 voter trends that helped Biden

Leading up to Tuesday’s contest, dozens of groups worked on the ground to turn out voters for their preferred candidates. Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial election, led an effort to register an estimated 800,000 voters before the 2020 presidential election. Approximately 75,000 voters registered to vote ahead of the runoffs.