But its diverse constituencies, the suburbs swing in favor of the Democrats, and the series of close calls there during the Trump presidency have turned Georgia into a battlefield. And the presence of two seats in the Senate made it a pavilion in the race to control Congress as well.
Georgia, along with other Sun Belt states, is likely among the fastest battlefields to report results on Election Night. This fact makes the three countries indications of whether Biden is on his way to a decisive victory, or if the candidates face a much closer race that will be largely decided by the northern battlefields.
Biden does not visit Georgia himself in the final days of the race. But his campaign sent its top agents to the state. Obama’s visit to Atlanta, where he will campaign with the Democratic candidates for the Senate, comes on the heels of Biden’s Representative, California Senator, Kamala Harris, to Georgia on Sunday.
Harris campaigned alongside Stacy Abrams, a former governor candidate who has been at the center of Democrats’ efforts to expand the party’s audience there.
“All that we’re looking at now in terms of Georgia and the possibility of what we can accomplish in this state, in large part, we have to say thank you Stacy Abrams for the work you’ve done,” Harris said.
She sought to motivate Democratic voters there by referring to the late Representative John Lewis, a civil rights symbol who died this year, and saying that voters should “honor their ancestors” because she criticized Trump’s long history of racist comments and actions.
“Don’t forget that when he was running for office and thinking about his political life, he had the nerve to question the legitimacy of America’s first black president,” Harris said of Trump, referring to the racist attacks on Obama.
Meanwhile, Trump visited Rome, Georgia, Sunday night, gave his big speech and made clear that he expected to win the state for the second time on Tuesday. His presence in the state just days before the election underscored Republicans’ fears that the Democrats might overthrow the country.
“I shouldn’t be here. They say I made Georgia,” Trump said.
Four years ago, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 5 percentage points in Georgia, a result that showed the country that Republicans had dominated for more than two decades was competitive.
But since then, Georgia has proven an elusive goal for Democrats. In the 2017 special election for a seat in the House of Representatives in suburban Atlanta, first-time candidate John Usoff smashed fundraising records of nearly $ 30 million – a harbinger of massive totals that Democrats would raise over the next four years – but failed against Republican Karen Handel.
Handel then lost the seat to Democrat Lucy Macbath in the 2018 midterm elections. But the Democrats lost the biggest price: the governor’s office, with former Democratic leader in State House Abrams, who was seen as a generational rising star in the state party, losing to Republican Brian Kemp is in a close race, amid complaints that Kemp mismanaged the state. Election system for his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
It was a frustrating and final blow in a long streak of losses for Georgia’s Democrats. The party has not won major statewide races in Georgia in two decades: Bill Clinton was the last party presidential candidate to take office, in 1992; The last time Democrats won the ruling race was in 1998 and in the Senate elections there in 2000 in a special election.
However, its rapid population diversity and suburban shift in favor of Democrats nationwide make Georgia an attractive target.
Nikima Williams, chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said the state’s evolution from 2016 – with a network of activists taking part in the 2017 House Special Election, building the Abrams Party in 2018, and protests against racial injustice in 2020 – built the moment loyalists await. For the party.
“It’s that perfect opportunity where people are still energetic and engaged, and the women who were energized after the 2016 election never left the party; they never left their activism, and they continued to build to this date. … Everything goes together in this,” said Williams, “a pivotal moment.” Georgia is ready for the coup now, because of all the work that has happened.
In addition to the 16 electoral votes in Georgia at stake in the presidential race, Democrats are closely watching two Senate races in Georgia: the Usov challenge to Republican Senator David Purdue, and a special election in which Democratic Rev. Raphael Warnock faces many opponents, including the incumbent. Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler. If no candidate crosses the 50% threshold, one or both of the Senate races may move to a run-off with the two best candidates.
If election night is a perfect fit for Georgia’s Democrats, they also have a chance to flip over enough seats to dominate the state House of Representatives. Such a win could pay off on the national and state levels for a decade, as it would give Democrats a seat at the table when the legislature redraws legislative district lines for Congress and the state next year during the once-decade-long redistricting process.
The Democrats also turned Georgia into an expensive state that the Republican Party had to defend: Biden and the Democratic National Committee spent more than $ 10 million on television ads in Georgia. Meanwhile, Trump and the Republican National Committee have spent more than $ 23 million on ads there.
Biden chose Worm Springs, Georgia – the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Little White House”, where he recovered from polio – to present what his campaign described as his final argument in the 2020 race last Tuesday.
The speech highlighted how – even as the coronavirus pandemic turned the campaign and American life upside down – Biden’s central message has remained largely unchanged since he launched his campaign in April 2019, and criticized Trump for moral reasons.
Biden said: “I think this election is about who we are as a nation, what we believe in, and perhaps most importantly, who we want to be. It’s about our core; it’s about what makes us American. It’s essential.”
CNN’s Yasmine Wright contributed to this report.