Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Georgia Not on My Mind

Joe Biden won Georgia's presidential election in 2020 by... oh wait, if you are a faithful reader of this site, you know exactly how many votes Donald Trump would have needed to win. Just subtract 1 from that number. Both senators are Democrats, although in truth, their victories were largely due to having very weak opponents. The real test for the purpleness of Georgia will come when Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) tries to become Sen. Brian Kemp (R-GA) against Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) in 2026. Normally incumbents win unless the incumbent has done something terribly wrong. For example, in 2022 all 29 incumbent senators who ran for reelection won. In the 17 Senate elections from 1990 to 2022, the reelection rate for incumbent senators trying for another term was 90.4%. If Ossoff is reelected, only then can we conclude that Georgia is truly a purple state (although a really big win for Biden in 2024 would also be serious evidence).

Unfortunately for Georgia Democrats, it looks like the national party thinks Georgia is a done deal and isn't paying as much attention to it as it warrants, since it is not yet a truly purple state, like, say, Arizona or Wisconsin, where Democrats have won multiple statewide offices against serious and well-funded opponents (but also against some looney tunes ones). Local organizers in Georgia, like Cliff Albright, the executive director of the Black Voters Matter Fund, are worried that the DNC and other national groups and donors are putting too much emphasis on the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, rather than Georgia, where 31% of the electorate is Black.

Albright and some others are hearing that Georgia is not a first-tier target. Part of the reason might be that there is no important race for a state office there in 2024. In Arizona, by contrast, not only are the state's 11 electors up for grabs, but also a highly contested Senate seat that is winnable, but not without effort. In addition, in a blue wave, the Democrats could flip the legislature and grab the state trifecta. If you were vice chair of the DNC in charge of doling out money, wouldn't you rank Arizona above Georgia among the Sun Belt states? Also, all three of the competitive Rust Belt states have a hotly contested Senate race.

Additionally, although there is no Senate race in North Carolina in 2024, there is a winnable gubernatorial race for an open seat as well as the possibility of breaking the Republicans' supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature. So Georgia is the only swing state that isn't a twofer. In all the others, GOTV drives could yield not only electoral votes, but also important statewide and state legislative offices as well. So you can probably understand what Albright fears. Nevertheless, with only half a dozen swing states, the Democrats should probably not concede any of them. (V)

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