Georgia flips blue for Biden

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Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in Georgia in one of the closest results of the 2020 election, flipping a rapidly changing state that has been a solid piece of the Republican electoral map for decades.

Biden took a lead of more than 14,000 votes out of nearly 5 million cast as mail and provisional ballots were tallied in the state, which is currently recounting its presidential votes to ensure the accuracy of the count.

Bill Clinton was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 1992, and Trump extended the GOP winning streak in 2016, carrying the state and its 16 electoral votes by 5 percentage points.

But Democrats have been making progress in Georgia — and building a very different coalition than the one Clinton had 28 years ago. The party rode changing demographics and a shift among suburban voters to a congressional pickup and a narrow loss in the gubernatorial race in 2018. In 2019 alone, more than 322,000 people registered to vote, and voters under 35 years old now make up about one-third of Georgia’s registered voters, up significantly from 2016.

Meanwhile, the white share of Georgia registered voters has been declining too, dipping just under 53 percent before the election as the Black, Latino and Asian communities in the state grow.

Combined with growing diversity and a shift among white voters in the big suburbs, these factors drove the polling between Trump and Biden into a near-tie by Election Day. But while metro Atlanta supplies more than half of the state’s population, Trump and the Republican Party have continued to grow their support in rural areas and smaller towns over the past four years.

After years on the sidelines of presidential elections, Georgia got the full swing-state treatment from the candidates and their campaigns this fall. Trump poured more than $15 million into TV ads in Georgia since June, making it one of the few states where he outspent Biden on TV, with the Democrat focusing his resources elsewhere.

Ivanka Trump visited Atlanta on Oct. 13 in an attempt to win back suburban women, a once-strong demographic for Republicans that has moved away from the party in the past four years. Trump traveled to Macon three days later, following his treatment for Covid-19, and Donald Trump Jr. also held events in Macon and Atlanta before the election to rally support for his father.

Meanwhile, Biden also visited Georgia for the first time as the party nominee a week before the election, holding a large drive-in rally in Atlanta. Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris spoke at Morehouse College to woo Black voters. And the Biden campaign brought in former President Barack Obama as the party’s closing act in Atlanta the day before the election.

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