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One of the most highly contested states, Georgia's election results have been confirmed to be blue. Here's how Georgia stunned us all this election.

Georgia certifies their results: How they turned blue in the election

The United States’ presidential election can be very confusing. There’s the popular vote on election night, and then those votes inform delegates to vote for a candidate in an electoral college system. It can be very convoluted but somehow works every year, sort of. However, 2020 is no ordinary year and the coronavirus pandemic complicated things even further. 

In one of the most highly contested, politicized, and controversial elections in U.S. history, the 2020 election came down to the wire as it took multiple days before a winner was called. One of the most critical states, Georgia, was so close to call, it triggered a recount. 

After two weeks, the votes have finally been recounted, and the added effort to verify the count confirmed what pundits thought when they first called the election on Nov. 7, Georgia went to Joe Biden. Georgia hadn’t voted for a democratic candidate since 1992 when Bill Clinton was the nominee. Here’s how Georgia demographics worked to turn the Republican stronghold blue after nearly thirty years. 

Atlanta suburbs

Biden made huge strides in the suburbs around Atlanta. In some precincts, he outpaced Hillary Clinton’s 2016 numbers by over ten percentage points. Atlanta was a key area for Democrats in 2020, which makes sense as Georgia’s most populated city with 523,000 people. The key demographics Biden did well in: high income, college-educated, and voters sixty-five & older. 

According to World Population Review, about half of Atlanta’s residents have at least a bachelor’s degree, and the most important section of Atlanta was the northern suburbs. According to Data USA, in 2018, the area’s average household income is well over $100,o00 way north of the city’s $56,000 household income. 

Even though the median age in Atlanta is 33, residents were only 53% likely to vote Democrat, according to exit polls. Democrats were hoping to ride a blue wave led by young voters but ultimately couldn’t win the state without older voters’ help. It’s why Democrats narrowly won the presidential election and why the state’s two senate seats wound up in a runoff. 

Black voter turnout

Georgia is one of a handful of states that asks for voters’ race during registration. According to The New York Times, Black voters make up 30% of the electorate in Georgia, reflecting its diversity. However, on election night, they only made up 27% of the vote, down almost a percentage point from 2016. 

Georgia wasn’t the only state reporting low turnouts from the Black community. North Carolina, another state that asks for race during registration, also saw a decline from Black voters. The Black vote was the second part of the Democrats’ equation for turning Georgia blue. 

The only problem is with worse turnout than 2016 — it was hard for Democrats to see the success they were hoping for. Georgia’s Black voter turnout was the lowest since 2006 when Barack Obama was running for President, and Joe Biden was on the ticket. The low Black turnout also means Democrats will still need to rely on flipping moderate conservatives to win the state in the future. 

More work to be done in Georgia

2020 was supposed to be Democrats’ year to ride a progressive blue wave spurred by young & Black voters. While Black voters were 88% likely to vote for Democrats in 2020, only about 55% of voters aged 18-44 voted Democrat. According to Georgia’s exit polls, the problem is Black voter turnout continued to drop, and the young vote is still split.

While Democrats made strides in key demographics like older populations, they still didn’t win them over, according to exit polls. According to The New York Times, Democrats gained points with older populations, but voters sixty-five older were 56% more likely to vote Republican according to the exit polls. 

Crucially for them, Democrats won over independents. According to exit polls, independents were 53% more likely to vote for Joe Biden & democrats. Democrats need to continue to win over independents. Democrats still need to win over traditionally conservative & independent Georgia voters until the Black turnout trends upward. 

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  • What drove Black voter participation down was the message from Black Lives Matter which was both parties are the same.

    People on the left just let them say that and make endless accusations that Democrats have not done as much as they could or purposely passed up opportunities to solve problems in part because they assume a nuance that isn’t there and thus assume they will come out and support Democrats when it comes time to vote.

    Black Lives Matter focused a lot of their attacks on Democrats and have since they began, for good reason. They see Democrats as the establishment’s weapon to keep them from assuming (along with far-left progressives in general like Bernie Bros. who claimed that they’d only vote Democratic if Bernie was the nominee) their proper role as leader of the left-side of American politics.

    Marx referred to religion as the opiate of the masses. To the ideological leadership of B.L.M. the Democratic party is the opiate today used to control Black Americans and make them act against their own interests.

    Republicans to them lie outside that paradigm and thus are mostly ignored as they focus most of their energies into helping Democrats lose like they did in 2016. The Stats. show they had a deciding impact. Had Black Men simply voted in the same percentage as Black Women did in the 3 swing states that handed Trump the electoral victory, then Hillary would have one, but not only did they vote less for Hillary they voted in greater numbers for Trump, a trend we saw continue in 2020

    The latest demographic analysis of the 2020 vote is that Democrats owe Biden’s win to the fact that White Men who voted for Obama and then Trump in 2016 came to their senses in 2020 and voted for Biden more than made up for the drop in Black Male votes in 2016 and 2020.

    Had the Democrats counted on the Black male vote Biden would have lost the same way Hillary did.

    The bitter irony in all of this is the B.L.M. ideological message that there is no point in voting for either major party is resulting in such a loss of votes from Black men that it is almost negating the fact that Black women are the most Democratic voting block of any in the USA.

    Their lack of nuance in their message hit home with younger Black men and thus you got the drop in voter participation.

    Democrats need to find a way to counter their “Civil Rights Act was 60 years ago, what have you done for me lately” message.

    They have the tools and the right people to do it, but at the moment, people like Stacey Abrams are so glad to see young people in the streets protesting for what they want they vastly underestimate just how damaging it is to see the youngest, most politically active Black men especially always include in their demands and complaints that Democrats don’t deserve their vote and demanding Democrats take positions that are political suicide to earn it (like supporting cash payment reparations).

    While the large majority of Black voters obviously put their message in context or ignore and go on to vote Democratic, the problem is in tight races the small number who are receptive to the anti-Democratic B.L.M. message decide to vote for the other guy or decide NOT to vote at all, because there is no point, and disregard the fact that quite often if there is a Black candidate in the race they are a Democrat who needs their vote to win.

    While the principal “black lives matter” must be fought for, and we must find a way to end the systemic racism that causes so much suffering, Democrats have to realize that the “movement” that coined that term, B.L.M. and it’s leadership are anarchistic at heart with extreme views that do not align with Black America or the values of most progressive s and liberals or Democrats in general. They B.L.M. leadership should only be given a platform if they adopt a pro-Democratic Party position. As long as they keep saying both parties are the same, they should not be given a Democratic platform to speak to Democrats, because they are not.

    Until Democrats learn how to stand for the principal without embracing the leadership they will continue to see a lot of their efforts to get young Black voters to the voting booth fail.

    December 17, 2020

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