World Cup and politics mix in Georgia ahead of Senate runoff

A progressive group hopes to encourage soccer fans to turn out to vote

Saturday’s line-up at the Qatar World Cup pits two Latin American contenders against one another, with Argentina facing the team that represents metro Atlanta’s largest immigrant diaspora: Mexico.

Progressive advocates are using the occasion to mobilize Hispanic voters ahead of the Dec. 6 U.S. Senate runoff between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

On game day, Poder Latinx – an organization dedicated to building political power and civic participation within Hispanic communities – will host a watch party in Norcross, where “the audience will be invited to watch the [game] and make a pledge to vote.”

Attendees will receive free tacos from the gathering’s host, the Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit restaurant.

Saturday’s watch party comes on the heels of Poder Latinx’s efforts to register Latino voters ahead of the first round of voting on Nov. 8, during an election cycle where both Democrats and Republicans showed a marked interest in courting the state’s Hispanic vote.

According to NBC exit polls, roughly 6% of the electorate was Hispanic in Georgia in 2022. There was a slight swing towards Republicans, relative to previous cycles, with Gov. Brian Kemp and Walker winning the support of 43% and 39% of Latino voters, respectively, compared with Trump’s 37% share in 2020.

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