“We’re all gathered here together under one pavilion, under one tent, under one grand idea that we do better when we stick together.”
At the party with members of the Black Greek community, Warnock, who is an Alpha Phi Alpha, talked about his work securing funding for HBCUs. And he drew claps and nods approval as he described himself as a product of Head Start and Upward Bound, both programs aimed at low-income students who are frequently also minorities.
As a swing state with a fast-growing and increasingly diverse electorate, support from minority communities could help make or break a campaign.
Minority voters have traditionally skewed Democratic, but Republicans are trying to change that. Warnock’s opponent, Herschel Walker, has held events with Black business and faith leaders. The Republican National Committee also has opened separate community centers for Black, Asian American and Latino voters, where they’ve hosted events and outreach.
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Garrison Douglas, a spokesman for the RNC in Georgia, said that Warnock “voted for inflation boosting policies which have disproportionately harmed minority voters.”
Georgia Republicans are “committed to reaching out to minority voters and fostering lasting relationships within their communities,” he said.
An analysis of voter registration data by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that over the past four years, the number of Hispanic voters grew 49% and now make up 4% of Georgia’s registered voters. The number of Asian American voters soared by 43% and make up 3% of the state’s voters.
The nonprofit AAPI Data found that from 2016 to 2020, Georgia saw the largest increase in Asian American votes in the nation, with an 84% vote gain in Georgia by Asian Americans.
Longtime Democratic state Rep. Pedro Marin, who attended Warnock’s events in Gwinnett County on Friday, said Warnock has credibility in minority communities because he’s been there for years.
“This his third round,” Marin said, referring to the 2020 general election and the January 2021 runoff. “We know him. We have seen what he has done in Washington in less than two years. The energy is behind him.”
But there are signs that Democrats need to work on their grassroots turnout before November.
The AAPI event in Duluth was crowded, but many of those in attendance were elected officials, candidates for office or members of the media. In Lilburn, Latino shoppers at the Plaza Las Americas were curious to see Warnock but, overall, attendance was sparse.
One person who had come specifically to see Warnock was Lorraine Aguilar.
“I really like him. He’s so positive!” she said. But Aguilar is 17 and won’t be able to vote in the upcoming election. “I’ve registered though. So, I’ll be there next time.”