Georgia is a swing state. Can the GOP lose it in November?

August 9, 2016

It looks like Georgia, a ruby red state, is on it’s way of turning into a purple state–a battleground state in 2016.

With Republican businessman Donald Trump tanking in the polls after the Republican National Convention, which was not attended by key top named Republicans due to Trump’s bombastic, tough language and rhetoric. He is tanking against Hillary Clinton, who had her own flawed campaign retool after the Democratic Nat’l Convention in Philadelphia.

A new poll released last week by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the city’s newspaper, showed Clinton beating Trump 44% to 40% and with third party candidates Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein Clinton leading 41% to Trump’s 38%, to Johnson’s 11% and Stein’s 2%. Questions remain whether Johnson or Stein would have ballot access. Most third party candidates have a hard time receiving ballot access, media recognition and money.

Another poll released by JMC enterprises on Monday showed Clinton leading Trump 44% to Trump’s 37%. It is clear: Georgia is a swing state. Why?

First, the demographic changes in Georgia. The black population in the state is growing rapidly and has been a key constituency for the Democratic Party. Hispanic voters are growing in the state and they have been moving to the Democrats, due to the Republicans’ language and rhetoric on immigration. Also, college educated white voters have replaced the rural, older conservative leaning voters that Democrats have been courting.

Before the 2000’s, Democrats had to rely on suburban conservative-leaning voters. They helped Zell Miller, and Roy Barnes win the governorship in their reigns. After 2002, however, those voters started to move to the Republican Party, especially on issues such as same sex marriage, abortion, and other culturally conservative issues.

Since then, Democrats have tried to win Georgia at the state and federal level. In 2014, Democrats tried to appeal to Georgia voters by selecting Jason Carter, the grandson of the former President Jimmy Carter, for governor, and Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former conservative Democrat Sen. Sam Nunn, who from 1984 to 2008 was a perennial vice presidential shortlist finalist.

Carter and Nunn lost, but they appealed to minority voters and educated voters-but not enough white rural voters to win.

If the GOP loses Georgia, it would be because of a presidential year, demographics, and even some suburban conservatives who fear Trump is too toxic for the party and the country.

If the GOP loses Georgia to Hillary Clinton, they would be absolutely doomed. 

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