• arjun vikraman

Georgia state goes blue for the first time since 1992 as US election vote-counting concludes

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Mark George

8th November 2020

In the wake of Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential race against incumbent Donald Trump, political analysts attempt to break down the demographic changes and policies that were pivotal to the Democratic win. In the historic election for the 46th US president, voter turnout reached an all-time high, while Biden saw himself become the most voted-for candidate in the history of the United States.

Among the 50 states themselves, there were several won over by the Democratic candidate that proved to be crucial in his path to victory. Among them, Arizona- a historically conservative state that in the past four years saw massive demographic changes, Wisconsin and Michigan- states that were once Democratic strongholds that have seen more contest in recent years, and Pennsylvania- the very home of American freedom and a historical battleground state. Yet perhaps the most unexpected victory of all was the state of Georgia. Known for its large population of African-Americans distributed in and around the metropolitan area of its capital Atlanta and in the surrounding Fulton County, Georgia, as a state, has remained surprisingly Republican despite the fact. Not even the Obama campaigns in both 2008 and 2012 (both successful) could steer the ‘Peach State’ to the side of the Democrats. In fact, the last time Georgia was coloured blue on the electoral map was nearly 30 years ago- Clinton’s first campaign in 1992. While the flip was unexpected and indeed a surprise to most Democrats across the country, it was anything but to the powerhouse organizers behind the grassroots campaign to turn the state of Georgia into a blue one.

At the forefront, Stacey Abrams- politician and voting rights activist, renowned in her home state. Behind her, a group of fellow advocates, Black female elected officials, and many community organizers. It was this cohort of passionate Democrats that themselves came so close to turning their state blue in the 2018 Senate elections, that chose to persist. Registering hundreds and thousands of previously indifferent Black and minority voters, the very fabric of Georgia’s political being was changed.

Person by person, voter by voter, Abrams’ grassroots campaign gave a voice to the once unheard denizens of Atlanta, the many underprivileged castaways of Georgia’s suburbs, and the uninformed that dwell in rurality. Their work bore fruit after more than a decade of struggle and faith in the power of democracy itself- in the early morning hours of November 6th, when it was declared that Democrats had a lead over Republicans in the state for the first time not only since tallying began, but since the 1992 elections that took place nearly 30 years earlier.

Carrying 16 electoral votes, the state of Georgia didn’t prove to be the decisive addition to Biden’s score; that title went to Pennsylvania this year. Georgia gets to be something far greater this year. A bastion of change. A lighthouse of democracy in the midst of the overwhelming storm around it. A pillar of truth and a testimony to the power of grassroots change in the world.

Stacey Abrams leads a campaign to raise awareness prior to the upcoming US elections, Nov 2 (Source- Biden/Harris 2020)

(Sources- JoeBiden.com, Build Back Better, NPR, APB, Vox News)

Edited by- Arjun Rohit Vikraman

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