09 December 2011

Rank 32 / 20: Georgia

Georgia




Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:


YearRankWinning %% MarginPart. ValueSwing“National SwingTrend
2008322052.10%+5.20%+12.46%-11.40%+9.72%+1.68
2004351757.97%+16.60%+14.14%+4.91%+2.98%+1.93
200038 / 1854.67%+11.69%+12.21%+10.52%+8.00%+2.52
199633 / 1947.01%+1.17%+9.69%+1.76%+2.96%+4.72
199233 / 1843.47%+0.59%-4.97%+20.84%+13.29%+7.55
198839 / 1359.75%+20.25%+12.52%-0.14%-10.49%+10.35

Blue shading = DEM pick-up over the cycle before.
Red shading = GOP pick-up over the cycle before.


Georgia margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): GOP +9.05%

(Note: the margin averages for these two states next to each other in the partisan rankings, Georgia and Montana from 1988-2008, are almost identical to each other. Montana: +9.03%, Georgia +9.05%, in spite of vastly different geography and demographics.)

Trend: STEADY
Trend explanation: Ever decreasing trend values, regardless of party, from 1988 to 2008. The Democratic trend from 2008 is almost a mirror image to the Republican trend from 2004, so the best and most accurate way to describe this state, especially considering its past history of massive trend shifts (see: GA and Incumbents), these TREND figures from the last years show real stability. Also notice that the partisan value (state margin minus the national margin) in the four 2-man races of these six cycles has been a very consistent 12.2-14.2%, and every time for the GOP.

Remember, a trend designation is not a prediction, it is a value that classifies the standing of the state partisan shift over the national partisan shift - did that state help a wave for a party, or did it stand in the way of a wave? That is the idea of a TREND value.

The Partisan Rankings over 44 years

The partisan rankings for Ranking 32 (Georgia) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow), in 2 tables:
Rank2008Margin '082004Margin - 042000Margin '001996Margin '961992Margin '921988Margin '88
32 - 20GA5,20%WV12,86%VA8,04%KY0,96%NH1,22%NJ13,64%
33 - 19SD8,41%TN14,27%CO8,36%GA1,17%GA0,59%AR14,18%
34 - 18AZ8,48%LA14,51%GA11,69%CO1,37%NC0,79%NC16,26%
35 - 17ND8,65%GA16,60%NC12,83%VA1,96%FL1,89%TN16,34%
36 - 16SC8,98%SC17,08%AL14,88%MT2,88%AZ1,95%OK16,65%
37 - 15TX11,76%MS19,69%KY15,13%SD3,46%TX3,48%AL19,30%
38 - 14WV13,09%KY19,86%IN15,63%NC4,69%SD3,52%IN20,16%
39 - 13MS13,17%MT20,50%SC15,93%TX4,93%VA4,37%GA20,25%

Rank1984Margin '841980Margin '801976Margin '761972Margin '721968Margin '681964Margin '64
01 – 51DC71,66%DC61,49%DC65,12%DC56,54%DC63,64%DC71,00%
02 – 50MN0,18%GA14,81%GA33,78%MA8,97%RI32,25%RI61,74%
03 – 49MA2,79%RI10,47%AR30,01%MN5,51%MA30,12%HI57,52%
04 – 48RI3,65%WV4,51%WV16,14%RI6,19%HI21,12%MA52,74%
05 – 47MD5,49%MN3,94%MA15,67%SD8,63%MN12,53%ME37,68%
06 – 46PA7,35%MD2,96%AL13,11%WI9,67%ME12,23%NY37,25%
07 – 45IA7,39%HI1,90%SC13,04%OR10,12%MS40.44%WV35,87%
08 – 44NY8,01%MA0,15%TN13,00%CA13,46%WV8,82%CT35,72%
09 – 43WI9,18%TN0,29%MN12,87%MI14,39%MI6,73%MI33,61%
10 – 42WV10,51%AR0,61%RI11,28%IA17,13%NY5,46%VT32,61%
11 – 41HI11,28%AL1,30%NC11,05%NY17,34%CT5,16%AK31,82%
12 – 40OR12,17%MS1,32%KY7,19%WA18,28%LA20.11%NJ31,75%
13 - 39IL12,88%KY1,46%MD6,07%CT18,44%AL47.13%MD30,94%
14 - 38WA12,97%SC1,53%LA5,78%IL18,52%PA3,57%PA30,22%
15 - 37CA16,25%NC2,12%DE5,41%PA19,98%WA2,11%KY28,36%
16 - 36TN16,27%DE2,33%FL5,28%MT20,08%MD1,64%MO28,10%
17 - 35VT17,11%NY2,67%NY4,43%DE20,41%TX1,27%MN27,76%
18 - 34OH18,76%ME3,36%MO3,63%OH21,56%AR7.64%OR27,75%
19 - 33MI18,99%WI4,72%TX3,17%ME22,98%MO1,13%NH27,28%
20 - 32DE19,85%LA5,45%PA2,66%AK23,51%NJ2,13%TX26,82%
21 - 31MO20,05%VT5,96%HI2,53%MD23,90%OH2,28%OH25,89%
22 -30GA20,39%MI6,49%MS1,88%NM24,49%AK2,64%WA24,59%
23 - 29NM20,48%MO6,81%WI1,68%MO24,59%IL2,92%WI24,35%
24 - 28KY20,66%PA7,11%OH0,27%NJ24,80%CA3,08%IA23,97%
25 - 27NJ20,89%IL7,93%OR0,17%HI24,96%DE3,51%CO23,07%
26 - 26CT21,90%CT9,63%ME0,84%VT26,20%WI3,62%DE22,17%
27 - 25ME22,05%OR9,66%IA1,01%ND26,28%GA12.43%NM18,98%
28 - 24AR22,18%OH10,60%OK1,21%WV27,22%OR6,05%IL18,94%
29 - 23AL22,26%WA12,34%VA1,34%NV27,36%KY6,14%MT18,38%
30 - 22MT22,30%IA12,70%SD1,48%CO28,01%NV8,16%CA18,32%
31 - 21LA22,60%VA12,72%CA1,78%KY28,60%NH8,18%NV17,16%
32 - 20IN23,99%NJ13,42%IL1,97%NH29,12%SC5,79%ND16,09%
33 - 19NC24,00%TX13,86%NJ2,16%AZ31,26%MT9,01%WY13,12%
34 - 18MS24,39%CA16,78%NM2,47%IN32,77%CO9,14%AR12,66%
35 - 17VA25,19%FL17,02%WA3,88%TX32,96%VT9,22%IN12,42%
36 - 16SD26,47%NM18,18%NV4,36%LA36,97%FL9,60%NC12,30%
37 - 15TX27,50%IN18,35%CT5,17%VA37,72%TN3,83%OK11,49%
38 - 14SC27,99%CO24,00%MI5,39%TN37,95%NC8,25%SD11,22%
39 - 13CO28,32%MT24,39%ND5,85%AR38,11%VA10,87%TN11,01%
40 - 12FL30,66%KS24,56%MT7,44%KS38,15%SD11,31%UT9,73%
41 - 11ND31,04%OK25,53%KS7,55%ID38,20%NM12,10%KS9,03%
42 - 10KS33,67%AK27,94%IN7,62%WY38,54%IA12,19%VA7,36%
43 - 9NV33,88%SD28,83%VT11,20%NC40,58%IN12,30%NE5,21%
44 - 8AZ33,88%NH29,39%NH11,28%NE41,00%OK15,70%FL2,30%
45 - 7AK36,79%AZ32,36%CO11,47%UT41,25%ND17,71%ID1,83%
46 - 6NH37,71%WY34,67%AZ16,57%SC42,66%UT19,42%AZ0,99%
47 - 5OK37,94%NV35,64%WY19,49%FL44,12%AZ19,76%GA8,25%
48 - 4NE41,74%ND37,97%NE20,74%AL46,89%KS20,13%LA13,63%
49 - 3WY42,27%NE39,49%AK22,25%OK49,70%WY20,25%SC17,79%
50 - 2ID45,97%ID41,27%ID22,76%GA50,39%ID26,13%AL38,90%
51 - 1UT49,83%UT52,20%UT28,79%MS58,57%NE28,01%MS74,28%



Links



Helpful Info LinksHelpful Election Links
GA WIKIComplete GA electoral raw data (Presidential)
GA Census InformationGA county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet
GA Census Profile mapGA VR link
GA population 2008: 9,685,744GA VR History 1962 - present
GA Population Density: 64.6 persons per square Km.GA VT by demographics 1996 - 2010
Electoral Vote Density: 645,716 persons per EV.GA Election results 1988 - Present





GA ELECTORAL DEVELOPMENT






GA Electoral Development (electors through history): 5 (1789), 4 (1792-1800), 6 (1804-1808) 8 (1812-1840), 9 (1824-1828), 11 (1832-1840), 10 (1844-1860), did not vote in 1864, 9 (1868), 11 (1872-1880), 12 (1884-1888), 13 (1892-1908) 14 (1912-1928), 12 (1932-1988), 13 (1992-2000), 15 (2004 - 2008), 16 EV (2012- ). Georgia has already gone through one cycle of slow growth and decline from 1789-1988, it is now at the beginning of it's second cycle of growth. If population trends continue, then GA and OH will both have 17 EV after the 2020 census, which makes GA a much more important player in electoral coalitions than in the past.

SUMMARY


Georgia is the 20thmost conservative state and the 32nd most liberal state, with a Republican winning margin of +5.20% and having voted 12.46% moreRepublican than the national margin in 2008.

Georgia was the 17th most conservative state and the 35th most liberal state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +16.60% and having voted 14.14% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

Georgia was the 18th most conservative state and the 38th most liberal state in 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +11.69% and having voted 12.21% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

From 1904-2008, Georgia went for the GOP 8 times, for the DEMS 18 times.
Since 1948 Georgia went for the GOP 8 times, for the DEMS 7 times.and for an Independent candidate 1 time (Wallace, 1968).

Since the inclusion of the GOP in the Electoral College in 1856 , it has gone for the GOP 8 times, for the DEMS 28 times and for an independent candidate 2 times. However, the one independent candidate was actually a Southern Democrat, and therefore an offshoot of the Democratic Party.

The electoral history of Georgia is in many ways a mirror image of the state of Vermont. From the VT analysis here, we see that Vermont went for the GOP 27 cycles in a row, until 1964.

Georgia's case is similar: since the inclusion of the GOP in the Electoral College in 1856, no Republican won GA until 1964, or 26 cycles (GA was did not participate in the election of 1864).

But the Democratic record is harder to explain. In 1856, Buchanan (D) won GA by 
+14.28%. In 1960, Southern Democrat Breckinridge won by +8.64%. Republican Abraham Lincoln was not even on the ballot in GA in 1860. As explained, GA did not participate in the GE 1864.

From 1868 through 1960, every Democratic candidate won this state without exception. That makes 24 cycles. But actually, with Breckinridge and his Southern Democrats being an offshoot of the Democratic Party, it would be fair to say that the Democrats won GA for 26 cycles straight and had GA participated in 1984, in the middle of the Civil War, surely it would have also gone for the Democratic candidate. No other southern state has as pristine a Democratic voting record as Georgia.

Now, as to those 24 cycles: 23 of those 24 cycles were double digit wins for the Democrats. Only in 1872, Ulysses S. Grant's (R) re-election, did the state go for Horace Greeley (D) by 
+9.94%. Of those 23 double-digit wins, only one was in the teens: Al Smit (D), 1928, won GA with "only" +13.19%. Al Smith was catholic. Georgia was a staunch anti-catholic state in the 1920s. Some of the most astounding margins of any state in our Union are found in GA's electoral history. The record setter was FDR's 1932 election: +83.83% margin, 91.60% winning percentage (looks alot like DC did for Obama in 2008). Even the most popular and beloved of GOP presidents up to Nixon had simply no chance in GA: Teddy Roosevelt, who won a stunning landslide in 1904, lost GA to Alton Parker (D), margin +40.40%. Warren Harding, whose 1920 landslide is still the record holder in margin percent (Harding +26.17%), lost GA to fellow Ohioan James Cox (D), margin: +44.57%. Dwight D. Eisenhower, beloved President, ultra-respected General, had no chance against Adlai Stevenson in Georgia: Stevenson won the Peach State by +39.82% in 1952 and by +33.83% in 1956. By contrast, favorite son Jimmy Carter's first win in GA in 1975 was slightly less than Stevenson's from 1956: Carter +33.72%.
So, what happened afterward? Well, the Civil Rights Movement, which was already starting to take form and was a point of contention in 1948, became a thing of reality in the early 1960s.

The first weakening of the Democratic front was seen in 1960, when John Kennedy, a catholic, won GA with a massive +25.11% margin, only, in comparison to +40, +50 and +60%.

In 1964, when the first parts of the Civil Rights Act were signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, he said "We have lost the South for two generations". And indeed, in spite of the largest national landslide in our history by winning percentage (Johnson 61.05%), Johnson lost GA and four other interconnected deep southern states, in a direct line: LA, MS, AL, GA, SC. He lost those states to extreme right-wing GOP candidate Barry Goldwater, who would go down in history as having been defeated in one of the two most punishing Democratic wins in US history (1964, 1936). In GA, Goldwater won with 
+8.25%.

But this was just the beginning of the transition of GA from a bedrock Democratic State to a bedrock Republican State. In 1968, Governor George Wallace from Alabama ran as an Independent candidate for the "American Independent" Party, with an overtly racist platform. Four of the five states that Goldwater carried also went for Wallace: LA, MS, AL and GA. And instead of SC, which Nixon barely took, AR went for Wallace. Wallace carried Georgia with 
+12.43% and 42.83% of the popular vote. The Democratic standard bearer, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, garnered only 26.75% of the vote in GA, in 3rd place behind Nixon's 30.40%. Nixon won nationally in the 3-way race of 1968 by just +0.70% over Humphrey. No doubt had Wallace not run, Humphrey would have beaten Nixon, but history does not have it this way. What was an unpleasant surprise for the Democratic Party in 1964 became a landslide defeat in 1968.

And became an unbelievable rout in 1972. Nixon, who had felt very stung that he had lost and then finally won 2 of the most knuckle-biting elections in our history, was dead-set on winning a massive national landslide in 1972. In his Book "Nixonland", Robert Perlstein writes the most detailed and most researched description of the lengths to which Richard Nixon went to get re-elected. Key to his strategy was the "Southern State Strategy", which can be summed up in the words of Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips, who, in a 1970 NYT article, said:
"From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats."
And that was the core of the Nixon strategy: to win over white, racist Democrats from the South to the GOP.

Look at the voter turnout in GA from 1956 to 1972 for the GOP:

1956: 633,480 total votes. 
216,652 for Eisenhower (R) in 1956, or 32.65%

1960: 733,349 total votes, 99,869 more votes than in 1956. 
274,472 for Nixon (R) in 1960, or 37.43% That is 57,820 more Republican votes in 1960 as in 1956, or 58% of the voters who were added to the rolls in 1960.So, in spite of a large national shift to the Democratic Party and John Kennedy in 1960, GA actually shifted somewhat to the GOP.

1964: 1,139,336 total votes, 405,987 more votes than in 1960. Growth rate 35.63%! 
616,584 votes for Goldwater (R), or 54.12%. That is 342,112 more Republican votes than in 1960, or 84.27% of the voters who were added to the rolls in 1964. That is a ratio of 2.25 to 1 for Republican votes over 1960.

1968: 1,250,266 total votes, 110,930 more votes than in 1964. 
535,550 votes for Wallace (I), or 42.83%380,111 for Nixon (R), or 30.40%. That is 236,473 LESS votes for the Republican party than in 1964, but the combined anti-democratic vote of 915,661 was 2.7 times as many votes as the 334,440 votes cast for Vice President Humphrey.

1972: 1,174,772 total votes, 75,544 LESS votes than in 1968, but 
881,496 votes for incumbent Nixon (R), or 75.04% (the GOP record to this day) and a +50.39% margin. That is 501,385 votes more for Nixon in 1972 over 1968.

And look at the Democratic Party:

In 1972, McGovern got 
289,529 votes.
In 1960, Kennedy got 
458,638 votes.
In 1956, Stevenson got 
441,094 votes.

The DEMS lost over 150,000 votes out of their own ranks over twelve years, but the total votes also rose 441,373 over that same time.

This means that lots of new voters were added to the Republican rolls, just as Mr. Phillips prophesied. The Southern Strategy worked.

The partisan shift from 1968 to 1976 was enormous: 
+62.82% of the voters shifted to the GOP in 1972. That is a massive shift. Think of it: Reagan shifted +11.80% of the voters from 1976 to 1980 and we call his election a massive landslide. Now, imagine a shift of +62.82% of all voters, regardless of party.

That shift was only to be outdone by favorite son Jimmy Carter in 1976, who won his home state with a massive 
+33.78% margin. This is a huge margin, but again, in comparison to the Civil War era through FDR, this is a comparatively small margin for GA. However, the shift from +50.34 for Nixon in 1972 to Carter +33.78% in 1976 has brought, to my knowledge, the largest partisan shift in any state of the nation at any point in our history: +84.17% for Carter and the Democratic Party. Scandals like Watergate do leave their marks, after all. 4/5ths of Georgia switched sides in 1976.

Jimmy Carter took a beating from Ronald Reagan in 1980, but the state of Georgia remained faithful to the then-President, but with a much smaller 
+14.81% margin. So, though Carter carried his home state in 1980, we see the effects of the Ronald Reagan Revolution already taking effect. In 1984, GA returned to the GOP fold and gave incumbent Reagan (R) a +20.39% landslide win, which again made for a large partisan shift in GA: +35.20% shift for the GOP.

This means that over 6 cycles in a row, GA went through a massive period of political turbulence within the state, and the effects of this showed up at the ballot box for 24 straight years.

To recap, here are the partisan shifts in GA from 1964 through 1984:

1964 over 1960: 
+30.39% for the GOP.
1968 over 1964: 
+20.68% for George Wallace (Ind)
1972 over 1968: 
+62.82% for the GOP
1976 over 1972: 
+84.17% for the Democratic Party
1980 over 1976: 
+18.97% for the GOP
1984 over 1980: 
+35.20% for the GOP.

So, the stability that GA began to enjoy as of 1988 was probably what this state needed: in spite of a vastly reduced national margin and a partisan-shift away from the GOP nationally in 1988, George W. Bush, Sr. won the Peach State with a nearly identical margin to Reagan's 1984 landslide: Bush 
+20.25%. Now, let's leave out 1992 and 1996 for a second and go to the other George W. Bush, who won GA with comfortable landslides both times, of +11.69% and +16.60%, respectively. These three cycles are the cycles of stability within the state.
The 3-way races of 1992 and 1996 skewed the statistics and showed that Georgia, as in 1968, can look at or even favor an independent, something it did not do in the 150 years before. Bill Clinton's razor-thin +0.59% pick-up in GA was probably one of the surprises of the evening, but then again, GA had last voted for a southern Democrat in 1980 and 1976. In 1996, as Ross Perot's sway faded, both national parties gained, but the advantage was for the GOP.

John McCain's 
+5.20% win in GA does set some new statistics. It is:

-the first large partisan-shift away from the GOP while still winning the state.
-the leanest margin in a 2-man race since the inclusion of the GOP in the Electoral College in 1856.

A look at GA and Incumbents will tell us some important information:

GA and Incumbents

UNLIKE
RI and MI, Georgia has for the most part NOT rewarded incumbents who won re-election in percentage.


President - GAYear / MarginYear / MarginState ShiftNational Shift:State minus Nat'l             (TREND)
Cleveland1884 / +32.081888 / +41.97+9.89+0.16+9.73
Cleveland1888 / +42.971892 / +36.32-6.65+2.18+8.83
Wilson1912 / +58.531916 / +66.63+8.10-11.32+19.42
FDR1932 / +83.831936 / +74.50-9.33+6.49+15.82
FDR1936 / +74.501940 / +70.02-4.48-14.30+9.82
FDR1940 / +70.021944 / +63.49-6.53-2.46+4.07
Eisenhower1952 / +39.321956 / +33.83+5.49+4.55+1.04
Nixon1968 / +12.431972 / +50.39+62.82+22.98+39.84
Ford / Carter1972 / +50.391976 / +33.78+84.17+25.21+58.96
Carter1976 / +33.781980 / +14.81-18.97-11.80+7.17
Reagan1980 / -14.811984 / +20.39+35.20+8.48+26.72
Bush 411988 / +20.281992 / +0.59-20.87-13.29+7.58
Clinton1992 / +0.591996 / +1.16-1.75+2.96+4.71
Bush 432000 / +11.692004 / +16.60+4.91+2.98+1.93
Obama2008 / +5.202012 / ???
???

Red shading = GOP pick-up
Blue shading = DEM pick-up

The most telling part of this is that the trend numbers from 1988 through 2008 have been progressively getting smaller: DEM +7.58 in 1992, GOP +4.71 in 1996, GOP +2.52 in 2000 (see table at the beginning of the report), DEM +1.93 in 2004 and GOP +1.68 in 2008 (also from the table at the beginning of the report). Remember, the closer a TREND value is to zero, then the closer the shifts in the state parallel the national shifts, which means stability. Here again is the table from the very beginning of the report:

Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:


YearRankWinning %% MarginPart. ValueSwing“National SwingTrend
2008322052.10%+5.20%+12.46%-11.40%+9.72%+1.68
2004351757.97%+16.60%+14.14%+4.91%+2.98%+1.93
200038 / 1854.67%+11.69%+12.21%+10.52%+8.00%+2.52
199633 / 1947.01%+1.17%+9.69%+1.76%+2.96%+4.72
199233 / 1843.47%+0.59%-4.97%+20.84%+13.29%+7.55
198839 / 1359.75%+20.25%+12.52%-0.14%-10.49%+10.35


Notice the very stable partisan value in 4 of these last 6 cycles: between +12 and +14. And in every case for the GOP. It means that GA has now settled into a pattern over generally voting between 12 and 14 percent more Republican than the national average, which means that the Democratic landslide of at least +12% would probably be necessary to flip this state. So, in spite of the historic nature of Barack Obama's election in 2008, his +7.26% was just not enough to trigger a flip in this state. The numbers speak very loudly and clearly for themselves.


Important details about GA:

Democrats:


Almost every Democratic President from Andrew Jackson through Jimmy Carter won GA in every cycle he was on the ballot: Jackson (1828, 1832) - Van Buren lost GA in 1836 and 1840, Polk (1844), Pierce (1852), Buchanan (1856), Cleveland (1884, 1888, 1892), Wilson (1912, 1916), FDR (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944), Truman (1948), Kennedy (1960) - Johnson's lost GA in 1964, Carter (1976, 1980),

Only one Democratic President in History won GA in his first term, but lost it in his second: Bill Clinton (1992, 1996).

Only one Democratic President has lost GA in both of his election attempts: Martin Van Buren (1836, 1840)

Barack Obama is the first Democratic President since the inclusion of the GOP in the Electoral College to lose GA. If he picks-up GA in 2012, then his statistic would be a mirror-image of Bill Clinton from 1992-1996.

If President Obama loses in 2012 and also loses GA, then he will join Martin Van Buren in this statistic.

If President Obama wins re-election in 2012 but still loses GA, then he will be the only two-term Democratic President in history who never won GA.

Republicans:

From 1856 to 1964 (108 years), no Republican even got close to winning in GA.

-Only one Republican President has won GA twice: George W. Bush, Jr. (2000, 2004).

-Two Republican Presidents picked-up GA in their second term: Nixon (1972) and Reagan (1984).

-One Republican President won GA in his first election but lost it in his re-election attempt: George W. Bush, Sr.

-Only one GOP candidate who lost the national election won GA: Barry Goldwater (1964)
Independents

Only one 3rd Party candidate has won in GA: George Wallace (1968)



Based on its voting record, GA is not bellwether state, having missed the Electoral College winner in 11 of the last 26 cycles, or 100 years and having missed the PV winner in 12 of the last 26 cycles, and more recently, it has missed the Electoral College winner 5 times since 1960 and the PV winner 6 times since 1960. 






Why was GA called a „battleground“ in 2008?

Because polling started to show the state, becoming competitive. And because of its extremely Democratic Voting history until 1964, the media was interested in GA.

Of the 40 polls conducted in GA from March to November 2008, McCain won 39 polls and Obama won 1, but it was the very lean margins, especially close to the election, that concerned the Republicans. The end polling average showed McCain leading by +3.85%. which was actually very close to the final results:
PollsterDateObamaMcCainOtherUnd.Margin
FINAL AVG:11/0346.2950.141.572.29+3.85
Actual:11/0446.9052.101.00---+5.20
Diff:
-0.61-1.96+0.57+2.29-1.35







Ins. Adv (R)11/034748321
Strat. Vis (R)11/034650134
SUSA11/034552227
PPP (D)11/034850212
Rasmussen10/314752015
R 200010/314447363
CNN/Time10/294752--15
Ins. Adv (R)10/284748231
Mason-Dixon10/264349--86
Strat. Vis (R)10/244551226
Ins. Adv (R)10/244847231
Rasmussen10/234651035
Dem Corps (D)10/204446462
R 200010/174349356
CNN/Time10/154553--28
SUSA10/134351428
Ins. Adv (R)10/104649233
Strat. Vis (R)10/094350257
Rasmussen10/084554019
R 200010/064350347
Ins. Adv (R)10/014450246
SUSA09/304452228
ARG09/223957--418
Ins. Adv (R)09/184351248
Rasmussen09/1843540411
POS (R)09/183556
921
SUSA09/1741571116
Strat. Vis (R)09/113952--913
Ins. Adv (R)09/1138562418
Rasmussen08/184453129
Rasmussen07/213948579
Zogby 3407/0837.644.111.7*6.66.5
Insider Adv.07/044446462
Strat. Vision (R)07/024351338
Ins Advantage06/19434467            1
Rasmussen06/1041516210
Strategic Vision05/164054--614
Rasmussen05/0939536214
Rasmussen03/214053

13
SUSA 5003/064154

13
Can GA become a battleground in 2012?


Wait and see. Current polling shows the GOP field leading between 3-7 points in front of the President, and since this state has a statistical tilt to the right, it would take a sizeable Obama landslide to pull GA over the line, so to speak. However, part of the massive growth of the South (Sunbelt) brings with it a more diversified demographic, and more minorities tend to vote more Democratic. The demographic face of Georgia is changing. Again, the importance of GA is rising within the Electoral College: right now, it is just 2 electors behind battleground state Ohio and, if trends hold, then both states will have 17 EV as of 2024.



GA SuperlativesYEARCandidateWinning %Notes
GOP1972Nixon75.04%+50.39% margin!
DEM1932Roosevelt, FD91.60%+83.83% margin!
IND1968Wallace42.83%IND WIN
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Winning Margin %
All-time “squeaker”1992Clinton+0.59%


In Georgia, the Governor, Lt. Governor, both Senators and 8 of 13 US Representatives are Republicans. The other 5 US Representatives are Democrats. In the Georgia General Assembly, the Republicans have a hypermajority in both Houses.

Facit: in 2007, I wrote"Georgia is a solid GOP bastion and far less likely to flip than a couple of states higher in the current rankings and despite the percentage average with a + DEM margin."

Facit 2011: Those words were prophetic and also explain why was only at the outer edges of the battleground lists in October and November 2008. I expect the President to make a hard play for Georgia, but it is impossible at this time to predict if he has a realistic chance against either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. That being said, he is only at between -3 and -7 against the GOP field and in 2008, he was much farther behind McCain.

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