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Georgia Sixth: How the rain could affect turnout for Ossoff, Handel

Voters walk to a polling place as ballots are cast in Sandy Springs, Georgia. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Georgia Sixth District voters who haven’t already dashed to the polls should plan on getting very wet when they do cast their ballots, our colleague Ben Brasch reports. And it’s only supposed to get worse as the day goes on.

We don’t have a great sense yet how the weather will factor into turnout. In general, the soggy weather depresses turnout. After all, voters who are not as motivated are less likely to brave traffic-clogged streets amid downpours to cast their ballots. And Republican lore holds that it hurts Democratic turnout in particular.

But it could have a peculiar impact in this race. Ossoff’s campaign has long held that it has the edge in voter enthusiasm – a more committed base of voters who will flock to the polls regardless to support him. Handel’s supporters points to a core of backers who have followed her through thick-and-thin as well.

Still, for Handel’s campaign, this could be a problem. She’s expected to trail Ossoff in the early voting numbers, and hopes for a solid election day turnout to notch a win. But the downpours could dampen voter participation in GOP bastions as well.

Here’s another thought: It’s not simply the rain. Most people don’t melt. But any rain will play havoc with commute time — this is Atlanta, after all. And that could pose problems for those who intended to vote after work, picking up the kids, dropping by the grocery store, etc.

Even so, Georgia GOP chair John Watson said on Fox News earlier today he was unfazed by the inclement weather:

And then there’s this (self-deprecating) “scorching hot take” from AJC columnist Kyle Wingfield:

Insider’s note: This item was ripped and expanded from the running live blog of the 6th District vote.


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