CNN reports that now the southern state of Georgia, once a consistent Republican (and prior to that Democrat bastion) is now a political swing state.
Democrats have Georgia on their minds. When former Vice President Joe Biden’s team presented their electoral strategy in mid-May, Georgia was one of three states, along with Arizona and Texas, that they believed they could compete in, even though those places haven’t voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in at least 20 years.
A look at the statistics tell us that Biden’s team isn’t bluffing. Georgia is definitely in play in the 2020 presidential election, even if it isn’t as strong a pickup opportunity for Democrats as some other states.
Over the past few months, a number of polls have come out of Georgia. Many of these polls have been from Republican leaning groups, raising alarms to fellow Republicans. Looking at all the polling shows a race within a point, and Biden already topping Hillary Clinton’s share of the vote from four years ago with plenty of undecided voters. Clinton earned 45% of the vote and lost Georgia by 5 points.
The polls indicate a state that Biden can win, which is what electoral trends suggest as well.
Georgia is one of only six states to have shifted to the left compared to the nation as a whole in each of the last three presidential elections. Four of the others are at least leaning Democratic (California, Maryland, Virginia and Washington), while one is a tossup (North Carolina) in 2020. From 2008 to 2016, Georgia has moved an average of 2.3 points left each cycle. Last cycle, it went from about 11.7 points more Republican than the nation to about 7.2 points, a move of 4.5 points.
Georgia probably won’t jump 4.5 points left like in 2016, as the shock of President Donald Trump to the electoral system is already baked in somewhat.
Keep in mind, though, that Biden’s leading Trump by 6 to 8 points nationally. That’s about 5 points more than Clinton won by nationally. If Clinton lost Georgia by 5 and Biden’s doing 5 points better than her nationally, any movement to the left in Georgia compared to the nation means a very competitive race. This even takes into account the fact that the Georgia electorate doesn’t have a lot of swing voters.
Indeed, Georgia was more competitive in the 2018 midterms than it had been in any midterm election in a generation. Democrats won 49% of the vote in the governor, attorney general and secretary of state races. US House Democrats combined to win 48% of the statewide vote, which was their highest share in a midterm since 1990.
Georgia’s move to the left makes a lot of sense when you look at how the state and the nation’s demographic and electoral winds have shifted. (source)
It is likely that this election will see a Republican victory for the state, but as noted, its future is like Florida now.
Georgia has a lot of “red” country in it, but the major cities of Atlanta and Savannah have seen mass migrations to them which have changed them- specifically migrations from New York City and Los Angeles of mostly middle-to-upper class whites and Jews -into areas that support far more “blue” causes. When this is combined with the effects of large Afro-American and now Hispanic blocs in the state, the former in particular which has deep historical roots in the region, means that Georgia is now going through many changes.
President Jimmy Carter was a Democrat from Georgia. Let us not forget this. It has never been just a “republican” state, and while demographics have played a major role in shaping her future, she has traditionally gone between both parties. .
Changes happen. Such is with life. For all those who are concerned about the future of the Republican party, perhaps this would not be so much of an issue if the party was focused of fulfilling the promises that she made instead of constantly disappointing and betraying her base, for as much as one may criticize the Democrats, one cannot say they have not been consistent with their views, for good or bad.