WHERE THINGS STAND IN GEORGIA TODAY
Georgia should have a Democratic Governor right now.
Stacey Abrams was robbed of victory in 2018 by Brian Kemp, the man who oversaw the 2018 election as Georgia’s Secretary of State and blatantly inflicted voter suppression on his own citizens, particularly those of color.
Simply put, 2020 is our chance for revenge.
Georgia has slowly been trending blue thanks in large part to the growing Atlanta metro area. In 2018 we flipped 1 long GOP-held Congressional seat, 9 State House seats, and 2 State Senate seats. And we also came within inches of flipping a second Congressional seat and every State Government election.
So without further delay, here are the 7 big reasons why Georgia is on my mind this year.
REASON #1 – FLIPPING GEORGIA’S 16 ELECTORAL VOTES
Georgia remains one of the three trending-blue ‘back-up’ sunbelt states (the others being Arizona and North Carolina) that we need to win in case we come up short in Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin.
By rights we need to try to win all 6 of those states, in case any 3 stay in Trump’s column.
That means that Georgia’s 16 Electoral Votes remain the top priority and are must-win if we want our country to survive.
And it *will* be close.
REASON #2 – FLIPPING DAVID PERDUE’S SENATE SEAT
Similar to the above, if Democrats come up in short in any of the four seats needed to flip the Senate (Colorado, Arizona, Maine, North Carolina), David Perdue’s seat would make for a reliable back-up. Or, if we are successful in flipping those four seats, this would be gravy on the side.
Democrat Jon Ossoff is running a great campaign and has a real chance of defeating Perdue. But this race, like so many state-wide Democratic races of late, will come down to a very small number of votes. Fight for every last one because it will be neck-and-neck.
And keep in mind that if neither candidate gets 50% of the vote (there is also a Libertarian running), the top 2 will go to a run-off. The best outcome would be for Ossoff to get over 50% on Election Day and end the contest right there. So let’s aim for that and put this one away.
REASON #3 – FLIPPING THE GEORGIA STATE HOUSE
Right now the state of Georgia is a Republican ‘trifecta’, meaning that Republicans control the Governorship, the State House, and the State Senate.
If Democrats are to have any say in 2021 redistricting, they need to flip the State House and/or the State Senate. Experts consider the State House to be an easier target, so let’s start there.
The Georgia State House has 180 seats. All 180 seats are up for election. Democrats would need a net gain of +16 seats in order to flip the chamber.
There are 19 seats across the state (although mostly in the Atlanta metro area) that are considered to be the most flippable. They are Districts 34, 35, 43, 44, 45, 49, 52, 97, 104, 106, 109, 117, 119, 138, 145, 147, 151, 164, and 179.
You can find maps of the districts here.
REASON #4 – GETTING A DEMOCRAT INTO THE TOP TWO FOR KELLY LOEFFLER’S SENATE SEAT
The Georgia Senate Special Election is actually an open primary with numerous candidates running all at once, with a run-off slated for January as no one will get over 50%.
So the priority is to get a Democrat into that Top 2 in November.
The Republican side of the race has devolved into a civil war between Doug Collins and Kelly Loeffler, but each are pulling significant amounts of support.
On the Democratic side, most are rallying around Ralph Warnock. Another Democrat, Matt Lieberman, encountered uncomfortable headlines this month due to some questionable writings. And there are several other candidates of both parties running as well who could siphon off a small percentage of votes one way or the other.
Our best bet? Follow Stacey Abrams’ lead and help get Ralph Warnock – who she endorsed – into that Top 2, blocking either Loeffler or Collins, and giving us a chance to win the seat in the runoff.
REASON #5 – FLIPPING THE GEORGIA STATE SENATE
The Georgia State Senate is made up of 56 seats. All 56 seats are up for election in 2020. Democrats would need a net gain of +8 seats to get a majority.
Unfortunately there are only 5 seats across the state (with many in the Atlanta metro area) that are considered flippable, which is why the State House is considered a higher priority.
The good news is that there does not appear to be any Democratic-held State Senate seats at serious risk of being flipped, but everyone must remain vigilant regardless.
You can find maps of the districts here.
REASON #6 – GEORGIA 6TH & GEORGIA 7TH CONGRESSIONAL RACES
There are really only two Georgia Congressional seats that are considered to be up-for-grabs this year, as all other districts are safe for their respective parties. We are playing defense in one of those races and offense in the other. And both will be close.
In Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, Democrats must defend Lucy McBath. Lucy is a wonderful Congresswoman who heroically turned her pain into activism after her son was shot and killed. She became a fierce advocate for gun safety, and now finds herself as a member of the House of Representatives. I cannot overstate how vital it is that we keep Lucy in this seat…and how tough it will be for her to win re-election.
In Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, Democrat Carolyn Bordeaux is running for a second time to flip this seat. In 2018, she came within *433* votes of defeating Republican Rob Woodall in the closest Congressional race of that election. Woodall, seeing the writing on the wall, promptly announced his retirement in early 2019, leaving this as an open seat. And if that wasn’t incentive enough, Bordeaux’s Republican opponent this year is a QAnon cult conspiracy theorist who cannot be let anywhere near Congress.
REASON #7 – WINNING SEATS ON THE GEORGIA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
The Georgia Public Service Commission is made up of 5 seats and oversees Georgia’s public utilities. All 5 seats are currently held by Republicans and each term is 6 years long.
This year there are 2 seats up for election.
Note that the current Commission is made up of five white men, and both Robert and Daniel are people of color who would bring some much-needed diversity to the Commission. Representation matters.
You can find a map of the districts here.
Thank you for taking the time to read about why Georgia is so important this year.
Keep in mind that these are not the only reasons to Focus on Georgia in 2020. There are a number of other local elections worth your time and attention as well.
If you’d like to help Focus on Georgia, please sign up HERE for the DemCast “Focus14” Georgia effort.
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