Until the 1970s, Georgia was practically a one-party state, dominated by conservative Democrats. But as conservative voters flocked to the Republican Party, Democrats found themselves concentrated in places like the city of Atlanta, adjacent and urban Decatur, and smaller towns with sizable African American populations.
In recent years, however, loathing for Trumpism has spread and demographic change has exploded, giving Democrats a surprising new strength in the populous, voice-rich northern suburb of Atlanta – places like the counties. Cobb and Gwinnett who were once strongholds of Republican power.
Hillary Clinton carried Cobb and Gwinnett counties even as she lost the state in 2016. This year, Mr Biden won them again. And it added to its margin in the state, significantly increasing the number of voters who voted Democratic in the counties that are home to Georgia’s second-largest cities – Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Savannah and Athens.
In recent months, the pandemic has slowed the Georgian economy, with unemployment reaching 6.4% in September from 5.7% in August. Covid-19 cases are also increasing; Over the past week, there were an average of 2,242 new cases per day, a 42% increase from the average two weeks earlier.
A new generation of Democratic candidates have left the fiscal and social conservatism of their ancestors to embrace a growing demographic coalition of black voters, suburban college-educated women, and a younger, more politically engaged generation.
Even though Mr. Biden’s victory was ultimately won by northern industrial states like Pennsylvania, his small margin in Georgia most likely points to the future of the Democratic Party, a future that emerges more clearly in the second round of the Senate.
Republicans will try to stop any Democratic momentum, hoping to show that Mr. Biden’s strong performance here is more tied to Mr. Trump’s divisive candidacy than the loosening of the GOP’s grip on the dynamic South. . For Democrats, winning both seats would leave parties 50-50 in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris voting for the tiebreaker.