A Shift In U.S. Politics: The Georgia Senate Runoff
Georgia’s Political Background
Since the turn of the 21st century, the state of Georgia has been uncontested Republican territory. However, 2020 was a year of many historical moments, including the first time in this century, Georgia’s electoral votes would go to the Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. Republicans in Georgia may find it challenging to accept such a dramatic political change (and cultural change at some levels). Still, the 2020 presidential election and the Senate runoff should be held as fair and accepted by all parties regardless of its outcome.
Shifting Towards Blue
In both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, the Republican candidates won Georgia by margins of more than ten percent (Georgia Secretary of State). However, in each of the next presidential elections, the margin by which Republican candidates beat Democratic candidates shrank to about five percent. Eventually, the Democratic party shockingly and historically won in the most recent election. A similar pattern has now emerged in the U.S. Senate elections. Only one of Georgia’s Senators have not been a part of the Republican party – Zell Miller, who identified as a conservative Democrat.
Although almost all of Georgia’s Senators have been Republicans since 2000, these elections have not been routs like the presidential elections at the beginning of this century. In 2008, there was actually a runoff election for U.S. Senate seats for Georgia. Twelve years later, the same situation has occurred but with a much higher tension level and much more prominent campaigning. After President Donald Trump’s tumultuous term, more people are involved in politics and proud to voice their opinions. Because of the increase in voter turnout, Georgia has a greater chance of remaining blue in the presidential elections and even other government sectors.
One of the main reasons for Georgia’s shift is its Democratic concentration in urban areas. Georgia has several urban centers — Atlanta and its surrounding areas, Savannah, Augusta, Athens, etc. — and in these centers, the massive Democratic turnout arose. While it may shock some people who are used to Georgia being red and part of the Deep South culture, it really isn’t surprising that the state is turning blue. Atlanta is a world-renowned city with a considerable population, and because urban centers are typically Democratic, Atlanta itself can have a significant effect on Georgia’s politics.
Response to the Georgia Senate Runoff in 2020 Election
Since Trump’s presidency, there has been an influx of people who tote MAGA merch and echo President Trump’s preachings. When driving in Georgia, it is not uncommon to pass a truck decked out with several “Trump 2020” bumper stickers and giant “Trump 2020” flags. Even after the 2020 presidential election results were finalized, Trump supporters still held local rallies throughout Georgia. It wasn’t until the 2020 election that I had begun to see such ostentatious displays of political support. Among Trump supporters, MAGA has become more of a culture rather than just a campaign slogan. The massive wave of political participation and outcry from people who protested against Trump’s administration was met with an equal level of fervor from those who support Trump and want to have his presidency continued for another term.
This election has garnered lots of attention from local media, dissing the opposition to celebrities endorsing their favorite candidates. People who aren’t even eligible to vote in Georgia are begging Georgia voters to vote because of this election’s historical importance. As politics in the United States become increasingly polarized, it is important to stay informed and recognize people’s power. Regardless of election outcomes, people of the United States need to respect each other to make any progress, and right now, there is very little respect to see.
“Current And Past Elections Results: Elections.” Current And Past Elections Results | Elections, sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/current_and_past_elections_results.
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