Priscilla Smith, left, and Sabrina Mobley, both of Decatur, Ga., dance before U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn takes the stage, on Oct. 27, 2014, during a Democratic rally encouraging early voting in Decatur, Ga.
David Goldman/AP

Black voting surged on Sunday in Georgia, North Carolina


In recent years, Republicans across the country have tried to reduce early voting opportunities, and especially Sunday voting. Ohio and North Carolina got rid of all but one day of Sunday voting this year (Ohio tried to scrap them all, but was stopped by a court).

Some new data from this year’s midterms helps explain why the GOP might want to eliminate voting on Sundays.

In Georgia and North Carolina, blacks accounted for an already impressive 27% of all early votes cast so far, according to numbers analyzed by The New York Times. But looking at Sunday alone, that figure nearly doubles to a whopping 53%.

Related: Fight over North Carolina voting law puts Tillis in awkward spot

One likely reason for the Sunday surge is the “Souls to the Polls” drives, in which black churches organize buses to take congregants to vote en masse after services.

Related: Issues that matter to new voters

The numbers will also offer encouragement to the campaigns of Michelle Nunn in Georgia and Sen. Kay Hagan in North Carolina. Both Democrats are in tight races and are counting on heavy African-American turnout to push them over the line.

Both states have seen aggressive and targeted efforts to get blacks to the polls. A flyer circulated by the Georgia Democratic Party urged recipients to vote to avoid a replay of the events in Ferguson, Missouri. And in North Carolina, a flyer invoked lynching while warning that a Republican Senate would impeach President Obama.

The Daily Rundown, 10/29/14, 9:04 AM ET

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Early Voting, Georgia, Kay Hagan, Michelle Nunn, North Carolina and Ohio

Black voting surged on Sunday in Georgia, North Carolina