President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of Trump Statues’ National Garden ‘: Children are taught at school to’ hate their own country ‘Trump accuses those who knock down statues of wanting to’ overthrow the American Revolution ‘The campaign is spending money to defend Georgia, and polls there show tight competition, fueling Democratic optimism that the peach state could turn blue at the presidential level for the first time since 1992.
There are reasons to be skeptical. Republicans in Georgia say they hear from Democrats and the media every four years that the state is at a tipping point. As with Texas, another traditionally red state in the south that has become more competitive in recent years, Democrats have been unable to close the deal.
But a source close to the alleged Democratic candidate Joe BidenJoe Biden Can Republicans Handle the Aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to impersonate Trump in Georgia Trump’s Mount Rushmore stunt will backfire MOREThe Hill’s campaign told The Hill that the campaign intends to spend in Georgia, even though it has other avenues to win 270 electoral votes and the White House.
Democrats believe Georgia’s younger and more diverse constituency could show up in November, fueled by activist anger over the police murder of George Floyd and Trump’s apparent weakness in the suburbs.
Voter interest should be off the charts in Georgia, which has two competitive races in the Senate and may be the deciding factor in determining whether the Republican Party maintains its majority in the upper house. The state will also host two competitive races in the Atlanta suburbs, where women and independents have drifted away from Republicans since 2016.
“Georgia is very much at stake,” said DuBose Porter, former chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party.
Republicans acknowledge that the state is becoming more purple and say it is of utmost importance that every Republican candidate take his career seriously.
But Republicans believe that Democrats are ahead of themselves. They remain confident that Trump will triumph in Georgia in 2020, even if it is by a slimmer margin than the party’s past victories.
Trump defeated Hillary clintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Can Republicans Handle the Aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to impersonate Trump in Georgia Hillary Clinton: ‘Would have done a better job’ managing coronavirus MORE in Georgia in 2016 by about 5 points, or just over 200,000 votes.
In 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams was left with only 50,000 votes in the career of a governor who had a record turnout. Democrats traded a House seat in the Atlanta suburbs that year and fell short on another.
Republicans believe 2018 may have been a high point for Democrats, who say they benefited from national attention for a year outside of the cycle when Trump was not on the ballot.
“I have worked here for a decade and a half and every two years we hear about how Georgia is turning blue. It hasn’t happened, “said Seth Weathers, who was Trump’s campaign manager in Georgia in 2016.” Sure, there have been changes in some parts of the state and it could one day turn around, but we are not at the peak of how scary or wishful we would be. “
Georgia is one of several states, including Iowa and Ohio, that Trump is spending money to defend even though he is expected to win. The campaign so far has put $ 457,000 behind the ads that ran between June 27 and July 3, according to data provided to The Hill by Ad Analytics.
Biden is considering two black Georgia women as potential career partners: Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Georgia Democrats came in record numbers in the primaries last month, with 1.2 million votes. Democrats outnumbered Republicans by mail, early in-person voting, and voting day, according to data from the Abrams Fair Fight group.
Fair Fight also said that more than 750,000 Georgians who were not eligible to vote in 2018 are registered in 2020, of whom 49 percent are people of color and 45 percent under the age of 30, two groups that overwhelmingly support the Democrats.
“The Trump campaign would not shed $ 457,000 on an initial ad purchase in June in Georgia just to ignite the money,” said Seth Bringman, the Fair Fight spokesman. “They are seeing the same registration, participation and voting numbers as we are, and they are afraid for good reason. Mathematics and demographics are on the Democrats’ side, and we also have two opportunities to pick up seats in the United States Senate. ”
Republicans said they expected the Democratic primary voting spike after Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State mailed the absentee ballot request forms to each eligible voter to facilitate voting during the coronavirus pandemic. The Secretary of State has not promised to mail absentee ballot request forms to all voters in the fall.
And Republicans believe Democrats and the media have a blind spot when it comes to the particularly heated civil unrest in Atlanta, where CNN headquarters was briefly besieged and a Wendy’s was torched after the Rayshard police shooting Brooks.
Republican agents in the state believe that the public will tire and worry about the protests and that Democrats are increasingly embracing the most extreme elements on the left.
“Elections here are probably going to be closer than we want, but I don’t see Democrats winning because by the time everything unfolds, they will continue to see it shake to the left,” said Jay Williams, a Republican strategist in the state. “Georgia is up for grabs and you can’t take it for granted, but we’ll continue to see emboldened left-winners in their match and Georgians just don’t feel comfortable with that.”
Still, a recent Fox News poll underscored the weakness of Trump polls amid the coronavirus-fueled economic slowdown and his divisive response to civil unrest.
The poll found Biden leading by 2 points overall. Trump leads by 8 points in the economy, but Biden leads by 10 points on the issue of race relations and 4 points on who is best equipped to handle the coronavirus.
Trump’s job approval rating in Georgia is 47 percent positive and 51 percent negative, better than it does nationally. The president leads by 50 points among those without a college degree and by 35 points among whites.
Biden leads by 70 points among non-whites, 26 points among moderates, 20 points among suburban voters, and 17 points among independents.
“Those who claim Georgia is not at stake are looking for older models of the electorate from the previous year,” said a Democratic strategist in the state. “Today’s electorate is a Democrat. With high turnout among black voters in Georgia, Biden wins. “
The coronavirus is a great wild card that is heading towards the fall.
Gov. Brian Kemp (R) was aggressive in reopening the state, which has seen an increase in new cases, though deaths are at their lowest point in months.
“The peak in COVID[-19] the cases in Georgia after Kemp’s aggressive reopening of the state are not helping Republicans here, ”said Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta. “Kemp is lucky not to be on the ballot this year.”
“I think Georgia is more likely than ever to vote for a Democrat for President for the first time since 1992,” he added. “I’m not sure, but it’s more likely. And of course Biden doesn’t need to win Georgia. “