Experts and those in both parties generally agree that slight shifts in turnout will determine who wins these two races on Jan. 5, given how close the results were for the presidential and Senate contests in the general election.
The NBC analysis found that 67,135 newly registered voters with no general election vote history were added to the list of potential voters for the upcoming runoffs. These voters were registered between Nov. 4 and the state registration deadline on Dec. 7.
There are 7,729,838 total registered voters in Georgia.
The runoff stakes are high: If Democrats win both contests they will take control of the Senate. One race features GOP Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and the other pits Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock.
The big question, of course, is whether the Democrats or Republicans gain an edge with this group of new voters. The new registration numbers point to a slight advantage for the Democrats and, while this is encouraging for the party, the advantage is small, and slight shifts in turnout among those who participated in the general election could make such minor gains inconsequential.
Looking only at newly registered voters, 29,850, or 44 percent, are affiliated with Democrats, according to TargetSmart modeled partisanship from multiple commercial sources. An additional 27,455 voters, or 41 percent, are affiliated with Republicans and 9,830, or 15 percent, are not affiliated with either party.
Overall, 52 percent majority of newly registered Georgia voters are men (34,638), compared with 48 percent (32,291) who are women.
Young voters — a strong Democratic voting bloc — are likely to play a key role in the Georgia runoffs, either because they weren’t eligible to vote in November but have since had birthdays making them able to vote in January, or because of pure enthusiasm.
The data shows a plurality of newly registered Georgians are between 18 and 29 years old. Thirty nine percent of those who registered to vote after the general election are under 30 (25,950). Another 18 percent (12,123) are between 30 and 39, 13 percent (8,938) are between 40 and 49, 18 percent (11,984) are between 50 and 64 and 12 percent (8,131) are 65 and over.
While white voters make up 52 percent (35,021) of new registrants, Black voters make up a sizable 34 percent (22,970) of new registered voters. Hispanic voters in Georgia make up 5 percent (3,654) of new registered voters and Asian Americans are 4 percent (2,737).
Looking at the top four counties with the highest number of voters who registered after Nov. 3 — Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and DeKalb — at least four in 10 newly registered voters in each of the counties are under 30 years old. In all four of the counties, Joe Biden easily beat President Donald Trump.
In Fulton County, 72 percent of newly registered voters are affiliated with the Democratic Party, while 17 percent are affiliated with the Republican Party. Fifty percent of newly registered voters are Black and 35 percent are white.
In DeKalb County, 47 percent of newly registered voters are Black and 34 percent are white. Biden had an over 40-point advantage over Trump in both counties in the general election.
In Gwinnett County, where Biden outperformed Trump by 18 points, compared to a six-point advantage for Hillary Clinton in 2016, 51 percent of newly registered voters are affiliated with Democrats and 28 percent are affiliated with Republicans. Thirty-four percent of newly registered voters in Gwinnett County are white and 33 percent are Black.
In Cobb County, where Biden outpaced Trump by 14 points, compared with a two-point margin for Clinton in 2016, 46 percent of newly registered voters are affiliated with Democrats and 36 percent are affiliated with Republicans. Forty eight percent of newly registered voters are white and 33 percent are Black.
In Henry County, a suburb of Atlanta where Biden trounced the president by more than 20 points (compared with a four-point advantage for Clinton in 2016), 62 percent of newly registered voters are affiliated with Democrats and 22 percent are affiliated with Republicans.
Black voters make up 52 percent of newly registered voters in Henry County. White voters make up 34 percent of the new registrants there.