For Democrats in Georgia, ‘There’s No Going Again’
Representative Nikema Williams, the leader of the state’s Democratic Party, which was sworn in in Congress this week, said Mr Biden’s victory gave Democrats, especially black voters, confidence that they could win competitive races. Early polls showed that turnout increased among black voters from November onwards, a remarkable shift from the decline typical of runoff elections.
“This election was not about Donald Trump” Mrs. Williams said. “It was about making the local people realize that they can overcome voter suppression when they show up en masse and that we can win Georgia.”
Regardless of how much influence Mr Trump continues to exercise after leaving office, it is clear that politics in Georgia has fundamentally changed, forcing both parties to change their strategies.
Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science in Atlanta, said the Democratic screenings on Tuesday suggest a future of “close results and split wins, with Republicans winning some national contests and Democrats winning some national contests”.
Republicans, she said, have to adapt to the reality of running in a competitive environment. From now on, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Republicans to expect double-digit wins in national races, as US Senator Saxby Chambliss did in his 2008 runoff against Democrat Jim Martin.
Demographic change largely explains the transformation of Georgian politics. According to some estimates, white residents might no longer be the majority in the state by 2028. Ms. Gillespie noted that the Democratic Party has developed a strategy to capitalize on this change and expand its electorate.
“The Democratic Party turned latent voters into registered voters and then actual voters,” she said.