Could Narrow Republican Victories Signal Trouble in 2020?
When politicians and political commentators talk about swing states during election seasons, they rarely mention any as being in the South. Historically speaking, much of the South has been a consistent Conservative/Republican stronghold. However, some believe that Georgia has become an influential swing state for 2020 and that it will ultimately turn blue for the next election. Because it is influential, that swing could spell trouble for the GOP, if republicans rely on the past rather than looking to the future.
27 Years of Voting Red
Georgia hasn’t voted blue since Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992. While there are certainly Democrats in Georgia, the state has rarely come to be dominated by them. Some Dems believe that Georgia is destined to turn blue for 2020, though.
As Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms put it:
“There is no denying that Georgia is poised as a swing state and will play an important role in the upcoming election… With people of color being the cornerstone of the Democratic party, Atlanta remains set to provide a large portion of votes for our eventual nominee.”
Republicans Win 2018 By the Skin of Their Teeth
State Dems often point to Stacey Abrams’ run for governor as proof of the state’s propensity to go blue in 2020. While getting a record number of votes, she ended up losing to a Republican but only by 1.39 percentage points. If that narrow margin isn’t addressed soon, the result could change the face of government.
“If you look at the 2018 election, I received the highest number of votes for any Democrat in Georgia history.”
Although Gov. Brian Kemp currently holds the governorship and perpetuates economic prosperity, the outcome was too close for comfort for many in the GOP. It could be indicative of a bigger trend to embrace a dangerous democrat thought process.
How did a Southern state remain red by such a narrow margin?
Demographic Shifts Could Favor Dems
Some analysts point to Georgia’s demographic shifts as proof that Georgia might vote for the next DNC nominee.
African-American voters backed Hillary Clinton in 2016 with 89% support. As of 2018, blacks made up 30% of the voter population. Meanwhile, the state’s white voting base, who tend to vote Republican more than other demographics, shrank from 78% in 1996 to 59% in 2018.
However, with Trump winning over more of the African-American voting base, Dems can’t solely rely on non-white demographics to win their elections anymore.
Republican Officials Remain Stalwart
GOP officials, like Whit Ayres, have a different take on Georgia’s status in 2020. His comment was made in light of Trump’s 5 point lead in Georgia during the 2016 elections.
“Only in the event of a landslide nationally does Donald Trump lose Georgia.”
Gov. Kemp’s advisor also chimed in on the strength of Republicans in the state.
“The reality is a majority of Georgians are happy with a thriving economy and the overall direction of the state.”
-Ryan Mahoney, Gov. Brian Kemp’s advisor
Dems shouldn’t be overconfident in their ability to steal Georgia. Under Kemp, Georgians enjoy a booming economy and unemployment rates under 4%. Citizens can hardly complain about an economy that benefits them. At the same time, comfort can breed complacency. Couple that with an onslaught of emotionally-driven political and social media campaigns that misuse children and manipulated facts to sway opinion, and the GOP could face a bigger problem than anyone realizes right now.
Additionally, Kemp’s rising poll numbers can also be attributed to his ability to see eye-to-eye with Democrats. Plenty of Dems voted for his budget that raised teacher salaries and appreciate Kemp’s diversification of judicial institutions and state boards. There’s also plenty of Republicans in Georgia that will show up to voting booths when Trump is on the list. The answer, of course, is to keep facts at the forefront and keep representing them before it’s too late.
What do you think about Georgia’s role in 2020? Is the narrow win in the 2018 governor’s race a reason for concern, or will Georgia remain a key part of the Southern red block? Let us know your opinion in the comments!
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