Warnock and Ossoff won historic Senate seats because of rapidly shifting demographics in key Georgia counties and clear promises of $2,000 stimulus checks

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For nearly 20 years, Georgia Democrats tried every conceivable strategy to win elections in a state that was becoming increasingly dominated by Republicans.

In 2010, Democratic voters nominated former Gov. Roy Barnes to reclaim his old job. Then in 2014, voters chose Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, to be the party’s Senate nominee, and selected then-state Sen. Jason Carter, the grandson of native son and former President Jimmy Carter, as its nominee for governor.

Despite the high hopes, all three candidates lost.

In 2018, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, who had spent years registering hundreds of thousands of new voters across the state, energized the party’s base of minority and younger voters, but it wasn’t enough — she was narrowly defeated by current Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

However, change was bubbling beneath the surface.

In the 2020 election, President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in Georgia, securing its 16 Electoral College votes and becoming the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state since 1992.

Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who were running for the US Senate against GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively, kept both Republicans from winning 50% majorities in November, which triggered separate runoff elections on January 6.

Last week, Warnock and Ossoff won their races, handing control of the US Senate to the Democratic Party.

A closer look at the results reveal several notable shifts that allowed for victories by Warnock and Ossoff.

Warnock and Ossoff were dominant in Atlanta’s suburbs

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The city of Atlanta has long been a Democratic stronghold, but for decades, its suburbs were citadels of conservatism, which provided an electoral check on the Democrats’ control of statewide politics.

Today, explosive growth, especially among racial minorities, has changed the calculus for any candidate running statewide, as politicians face legions of new voters who have little to no familiarity with longtime officeholders.

Atlanta proper went from roughly 427,000 residents in 2010 to an estimated 2019 population of nearly 507,000 residents, according to the US Census Bureau.

Meanwhile, the entire Atlanta metropolitan area, which includes its suburbs, grew from nearly 5.3 million people in 2010 to more than 6 million people in 2019. This increase in 730,000 residents in just under a decade made the Atlanta metropolitan area the fourth fastest-growing metro area in the nation, per the Census.

J. Miles Coleman, the associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said that Democrats have benefited from the conglomeration of voters in population centers like Atlanta.

“The Democrats have done very well in states like Georgia where they have one metro that can dominate,” he told Insider.

In winning their Senate runoff elections, Warnock and Ossoff benefited from enormous turnout for a runoff election — around 4.5 million Georgia voters cast ballots in all — which represented nearly 90% of the state’s November election turnout, according to CBS News.

Fulton County, anchored by Atlanta, as well as surrounding Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton, …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

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