Georgia Votes - History

182820,004Andrew Jacks19,36296.8John Q Adams6423.2
183220,750Andrew Jacks20,750100Henry Clay-------
183647,259Martin Van Bu22,77848.2William Harriso24,48151.8
184072,322William Harris40,33955.8Martin VaN Bur31,98344.2
184486,247James Polk44,14751.2Henry Clay42,10048.8
184892,317Zachary Taylo47,53251.5Lewis Cass44,78548.5
185262,626Frankilin Pierc40,51664.7Winfield Scott16,66026.6
185699,020James Buchan56,58157.1John Fremont42,43942.9
1860106,717Abraham Linc11,58110.9Stephen Dou52,17648.9
1868159,816Abraham Linc57,10935.7George McClela102,70764.3
1872138,906Ulysses Grant62,55045Horatio Seymou76,35655
1876180,690Ulysses Grant50,53328Horace Greeley130,15772
1880157,451Rutherford Ha54,47034.6Samuel Tilden102,98165.4
1884143,610James Garfield94,66765.9Winfield Scott48,60333.8
1888142,936Grover Clevel40,49928.3James Blaine100,49370.3
1892223,126Benjamin Harr129,44658Grover Clevelan48,40821.7
1896162,480Grover Clevel59,39536.6Benjamin Harris93,88557.8
1900121,410William McKin34,26028.2William Bryant81,18066.9
1904130,986William McKin24,00418.3William Bryant83,46663.7
1908132,504Theo. Rooseve41,35531.2Alton Parker72,35054.6
1912121,470William Taft93,08776.6William Bryant21,98518.1
1916121,470Woodrow Wils93,08776.6Theo. Roosevelt21,98518.1
1916160,681Woodrow Wils127,75479.5Charles Hughes11,2947
1920149,558Warren Hardin42,98128.7James Cox106,11271
1924166,635Calvin Coolidg30,30018.2John Davis123,26274
1928231,592Herbert Hoove101,80044Alfred Smith129,60456
1932231,592Franklin Roos101,80044Herbert Hoover129,60456
1936293,170Franklin Roos255,36387.1Alfred Landon36,94312.6
1940312,686Franklin Roos265,19484.8Wendell Will46,49514.9
1944328,129Franklin Roos268,18781.7Thomas Dewey59,90018.3
1948418,844Harry Truman254,64660.8Thomas Dewey76,69118.3
1952655,785Dwight Eisenh198,96130.3Adlai Stevenson456,82369.7
1956669,655Dwight Eisenh222,77833.3Adlai Stevenson444,68866.4
1960733,349John F Kenned458,63862.5Richard Nixon274,47237.4
19641,139,335Lyndon Johns522,55645.9Barry Goldwater616,58454.1
19681,250,266Richard Nixon380,11130.4Hubert Humphr334,44026.7
19721,174,772Richard Nixon881,49675George McGove289,52924.6
19761,467,458Jimmy Carter979,40966.7Gerald Ford483,74333
19801,596,695Ronald Reaga654,16841Jimmy Carter890,73355.8
19841,776,120Ronald Reaga1,068,72260.2Walter Mondale706,62839.8
19881,809,672George Bush1,081,33159.8Michael Dukais714,79239.5
19922,321,125Bill Clinton1,008,96643.5George Bush995,25242.9
19962,272,217William Clint1,047,21446.9Bob Dole1,078,97247.5
20002,596,645George W Bus1,419,72054.7Al Gore1,111,23043.2
20043,301,875George W Bus1,914,25458John Kerry1,366,14941.4
20083,922,816Barack Obama1,844,13747.0%John McCain2,048,74452.2%

‘Ground zero’ for voting rights: How Georgia’s new law fits with its past

On the heels of their defeat in Congress and the White House, Republicans across the country have advanced controversial voting bills – most notably in Georgia. Senate Bill 202, which Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law last week, contains a number of provisions that many consider to be a deterrent to voting – along with an option that would allow officials essentially to overturn the vote.

Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight, called the bill “a redux of Jim Crow in a suit and tie. Her comments bring to mind past events that helped to birth Jim Crow.

Inside Elections

By Jacob Rubashkin November 4, 2020 · 11:45 PM EST

An updated version of this article is available here.

With President Donald Trump&rsquos initial lead dissipating in Georgia, GOP Sen. David Perdue looks increasingly likely to be forced into a January runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Perdue&rsquos share of the vote is close to dipping below 50 percent, which would trigger Georgia&rsquos unique runoff law.

Georgia is the only state where general elections are subject to an absolute majority threshold, meaning that for a candidate to win outright in November, they must capture &ldquo50 percent plus one&rdquo votes. If no candidate does so, the top two vote-getters proceed to a January 5, 2021 runoff.

Georgia&rsquos other Senate seat is already headed for a runoff. The special election to succeed Sen. Johnny Isakson was conducted as a &ldquojungle primary,&rdquo in which all candidates from all parties appeared on the same ballot in November. If no candidate receives an absolute majority a runoff is triggered. Appointed-Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, received just 26 percent of the vote, while Democrat Raphael Warnock, senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, won 33 percent, so the two will face off in January.

If Perdue finishes with less than 50 percent of the vote in his race, due to Libertarian Shane Hazel winning low single-digit support, then Georgia will see two runoffs, conducted simultaneously.

Georgia&rsquos general election runoff law dates back to the mid-1960s, and in the modern era the system has been largely unkind to Democrats.

Georgia&rsquos Secretary of State website keeps records of all statewide elections going back to 1988. In those 30 years, there have been eight runoff statewide general or special election runoffs. Democrats have won just one of them.

Moreover, Democrats have not won a single statewide election in Georgia since 2006. But that doesn&rsquot guarantee GOP success this time.

A History of Misses
Democrats&rsquo bad luck began in 1992, when Democratic Sen. Wyche Fowler unexpectedly fell just short of 50 percent in his re-election campaign against GOP nominee Paul Coverdell, the former director of the Peace Corps.

In the Nov. 3 general election, Fowler led with 49.2 percent to Coverdell&rsquos 47.7 percent (Libertarian Jim Hudson took 3.1 percent.)

In the Nov. 24 runoff, in which 1 million fewer voters participated, Fowler lost to Coverdell, who took 50.7 percent to the incumbent&rsquos 49.3 percent.

That same year, Democrats lost another statewide runoff, for a seat on the Public Service Commission. In the Nov. 3 general election, Republican Bobby Baker took 48.3 percent to Democrat John Frank Collins' 47.6 percent, but Baker would go on to win an easy runoff victory, 56.8 percent to 43.2 percent.

The last time a Democrat won a statewide runoff was in 1998. Lauren "Bubba" McDonald had been appointed to a seat on the PSC by Gov. Zell Miller and faced Republican Jim Cole in a special election. In the general election, McDonald finished just under 50 percent, with 49.6 percent to Cole&rsquos 42.1 percent, but cruised to a 30-point win in the runoff.

Nearly 1.3 million people voted in the general, but just 114,000 turned out for the runoff. And McDonald would later switch parties, now serving as a Republican.

In 2006, Democrat David Burgess, the first African American to serve on the PSC, faced Republican Chuck Eaton for his seat. Burgess placed first in the November general, 48.8 percent to 46.3 percent. But Eaton won in the runoff, 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent.

The 2008 collapse
In 2008, as Barack Obama won a resounding victory in the presidential race and Democrats picked up eight Senate seats, GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss faced a spirited challenge from Democratic state Rep. Jim Martin.

Martin won 46.8 percent in the general election, holding Chambliss to just 49.8 percent and forcing a runoff.

But in the Dec. 2 runoff, Chambliss won a dominant 57 percent to 43 percent victory.

The story was the same in 2008&rsquos other runoff, for a seat on the Public Service Commission. In that race, Democrat Jim Powell actually led Bubba McDonald, by then a Republican, by 47.9 percent to 47.2 percent in the November election. But in the runoff, McDonald performed as well as Chambliss, defeating Powell 57 percent to 43 percent.*

Ask any Georgia Democrat about runoffs, and they will bring up 2008. Even a great national environment for Democrats, the thinking goes, wasn&rsquot enough to even make a Georgia runoff competitive.

The 2008 races were the last statewide runoffs for a decade, and largely informed how members of both parties saw the state&rsquos politics (remember that Democrats aren&rsquot winning any statewide races outright either.)

How 2018 changed things
In 2018, Republican Brian Kemp narrowly avoided a runoff with Democrat Stacey Abrams, who captured national attention for her attempt to become the first Black woman governor in US history. Kemp finished with 50.2 percent of the vote.

But GOP secretary of state nominee Brad Raffensperger wasn&rsquot as lucky.

Raffensperger and Chuck Eaton, the Public Service Commissioner who won the 2006 runoff, were both forced into overtime competitions against their Democratic opponents, former US Rep. John Barrow and Lindy Miller, respectively.

Here&rsquos where things get interesting.

In 2008, the conventional wisdom was that Democrats were so happy with their nationwide victories that they weren&rsquot motivated to turn out for a December special election. It didn&rsquot help that Obama, whose 47-percent total in the state was the best showing since favorite son Jimmy Carter in 1980, was no longer at the top of the ticket and did not campaign for Martin because he wanted to stay above the partisan fray as he stepped into office.

Republicans, meanwhile, were smarting from their losses and intent on denying Democrats a 60-vote majority in the Senate. Turnout dropped all around, but while Chambliss only saw his raw vote total decline by 639,064 votes, Martin, already behind, saw his decline by 847,470.

In 2018, Democrats won big nationwide too, so you might imagine their voters would be similarly unmotivated to turn out for another election. And just like Jim Martin no longer had the star power of Obama boosting turnout from the top of the ticket, Barrow and Miller didn&rsquot have the benefit of running on the same ticket as Stacey Abrams.

But 2018 was no repeat of 2008.

In the Secretary of State race, Raffensperger had won 49.1 percent to Barrow&rsquos 48.7 percent in November. In the Dec. 4 runoff, in which turnout was just 37 percent of November, Raffensperger won a close contest with 51.9 percent to Barrow&rsquos 48.1 percent. Raffensperger&rsquos raw vote dropped 1,141,733, while Barrow&rsquos dropped 1,181,261, a level of parity entirely unlike in 2008.

And in the Public Service Commision race, Eaton took 49.7 percent to Miller&rsquos 47.6 percent in November, and went on to win 51.8 percent in the runoff, where Miller actually increased her vote share to 48.2 percent. Eaton&rsquos raw vote fell by 1,159,103, a greater dropoff than Miller&rsquos delta of 1,130,753.

While Democrats lost both races, they were incredibly heartened by the fact that both races remained very close despite occurring in December and without Abrams at the top of the ticket. It gives them hope that the next time, they'll be in position to win a runoff.

January 5, 2021
If Perdue drops below 50 percent and is forced into a runoff, control of the US Senate could come down to the runoff in that race and in Loeffler&rsquos. If Democrats were to win both, plus the presidency, they would control the chamber despite falling short in a dozen races this Tuesday.

If that is the case, these two runoffs will be the most expensive elections of their kind in history.

The conventional wisdom holds that Perdue and Loeffler would be heavy favorites in their respective races, due in large part to Democrats&rsquo dismal track record in Georgia runoffs.

But Joe Biden is coming close to winning Georgia -- even if he loses he&rsquoll come closer than any Democrat since Clinton in 1992, and his total vote share will be the highest since Carter in 1980. So things may be shifting in the Peach State. And if Biden does win the state, it&rsquos hard to imagine he&rsquoll stay away like Obama did in Martin&rsquos 2008 race.

In 2018, we saw that Democrats would turn out even for lower-profile special elections and after they had already won large victories nationwide.

With control of Washington, DC potentially on the line, these runoffs would be anything but low-profile, and it could be that 2021 is the year Georgia Democrats finally chase away the ghosts of 2008 once and for all.

*Editor's note, 1:54pm 11/10/20: A previous version of this story omitted a 2008 statewide runoff election for Public Service Commission. There have been eight statewide runoff elections since 1988 Democrats have won just one.

HAPPENING NOW: Georgia Votes in Most Important Senate Election in History.

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Are people banned from giving water to voters?

There's been criticism of a provision which bans some people from handing out food or water to voters within a certain distance of polling sites.

It's true that the rules on this have been tightened.

Republicans say the move limits potential interference before people cast their ballots.

In previous elections, voting rights groups have often given out supplies to people standing in long lines at voting locations, which are a feature in US elections.

Long waits are more common in areas with a larger black population, often due to fewer polling stations and other barriers to voting.

But Republicans have pushed back on claims that the new law criminalises giving water to voters.

Although poll workers are still allowed to give away water, other people will have to follow certain restrictions under the new regulations.

The law makes it an offence to give away food or water within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter in line.

Violations can be punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

4. Food and drink distribution to voters in line by non-poll workers is banned, but "self-service" water stands are allowed

One of the most contentious provisions is Georgia's ban on giving voters food or water while they're in line at the polls. During the primary last June, precincts around the state were plagued by hours-long lines , and voting rights groups were quick to point out that the late spring and summer heat make the ban on distributing food and water especially onerous. Volunteers and third-party groups regularly hand out water on hot days or hot drinks on cold days to voters standing in line.

Georgia had already outlawed campaigns or other groups from distributing or displaying any campaign material within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voters standing in line for a polling site, and the new law now bans giving voters any gifts, "including but not limited to, food and drink."

Gabriel Sterling, one of the top officials at the Georgia secretary of state's office, told CBS affiliate WMAZ that the ban is meant to prevent groups from using food and water to campaign within the restricted areas. The law provides an exception to allow poll workers to set up "self-service water" so people waiting in line can stay hydrated.

Photograph: Roopa Gogineni/Courtesy Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center

Live chat

Updates about tonight's races in Georgia

We're not likely to get a call out of Georgia.

Alex's sources are likely right, and it's going to be a long wait. Now that California is in Biden's column, he's at 209 electoral votes, to Trump's 119. Let's assume Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas are going to Trump. Give him Hawaii, Biden needs to find 58 electoral votes somewhere — some combination of Minnesota (10), Arizona (11), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10), Pennsylvania (20), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), Maine (3), ME-02 (1), NE-02 (1), Georgia (16). He can lose Georgia, but then he needs to win EVERYTHING ELSE if he also lost Pennsylvania.

One thing to keep in mind about Georgia is that it looks like there are still a lot of votes to come from the big suburbs around Atlanta. So I think the current margin there is going to shrink

Getting at the “red mirage” idea, if we don’t get Atlanta and big GA burbs, and some major blue areas of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania it’s easy to see Trump’s lead holding for now or staying closer than they should end up. Same for GA senate races Charlie

I don’t know Georgia as well as Florida, but considering how whites performed in Florida, it’s difficult to see how they don’t do the same in Georgia

For example, Holly , one example from Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, that implied they were still counting on Pa could be seen in this quote. “If we just win one state between North Carolina and Georgia, then we could lose Michigan and Florida and still get over 270 electoral votes.”

Holly If Biden loses Fla, North Carolina and Georgia, his so-called greater Midwest certainly includes winning Pennsylvania. That’s a point that they made. Losing Pa would seem to require picking up something big elsewhere.

GOP strategist just made this point to me: If Florida goes red in 2020, while Georgia, NC, Texas are seen as more/just as competitive for Dems, it could totally change Florida's role in presidential politics. It's big, expensive and complicated, so what if Dems stop challenging it and focus on other SEC-type states?

If I may interject in this Florida talk real quick. Temper your expectations on the timeline for when to expect to have definitive results in Georgia because of this:

Trump aims to squeeze more votes out of rural Georgia

Yes, Charlie . It's definitely a big lift. But a GOP pollster told me that for Trump to win in Georgia, he'll have to win at least 58 percent of election day vote in order to catch up to the lead Dems built in early/absentee voting.

One thing I've thought about today in Georgia: Hillary Clinton lost the state by about 230,000 votes in 2016. Nearly 800,000 new voters have registered since 2018. That could be enough to put Biden over the top, depending on which way they lean.

In any case, Georgia will be a heavy lift for Dems, even if the Atlanta suburbs are bolting the GOP. The state hasn't voted for a Dem presidential nominee since 1992.

Polls close at 7 p.m. in Georgia, but polls in some counties are staying open until as late as 9 p.m. because of issues earlier in the day.

One note about the travel to Georgia: obviously it's being done in an effort to flip the state for Biden. But it's also hugely important for the Senate races. The special election there is almost certain to go to a runoff. But the race between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Dem Jon Ossoff is going to be really close. Dems had expressed some confidence to me in Ossoff's path to 50% of the vote and avoiding a Jan runoff. But he'd need a pretty strong W from Biden to do that. Senate Dems were ecstatic that Biden, Harris and Obama visited the state in the closing stretch

Charlie , Look no further than who's shown up there in the last week! Obama, Biden, Harris. and Trump. It's clearly a battleground. And the stakes are so high: Two Senate races, a state House that could flip, several competitive House races.

Charlie don't sleep on Georgia! The 2018 gubernatorial election was super duper close.

Speaking of surprise swing states this year, there's Georgia. I still have a hard time believing the Democratic nominee has a shot of picking up its 16 electoral votes, but there's plenty of evidence to suggest that it's in play.

Telling tweet from election law expert Rick Hasen: "Biggest surprise of the election watch for me so far: Florida's election administration doesn't make my top 3 of places I'm worried about. (PA, GA, MI)"

Happy Election Day! No surprise, I'm watching the battle for Senate control. Republicans go into the night with a 53-47 majority. There are a huge number of potentially competitive races. The likeliest flip for Republicans is Alabama. The likeliest flips for Democrats are Colorado and Arizona, followed by tight races in Maine, North Carolina and Iowa. If Democrats can flip two of those three, they'll likely win back the majority six years after losing it. There are also races in Montana, South Carolina, Kansas, Alaska and Texas that could flip if Democrats are having a REALLY good night. And if Republicans are having a really strong night, Michigan is their next best opportunity. The possibilities are a little dizzying.

But one thing to keep a close eye on: Georgia. Two races in that state, and one is almost certain to head to a January 5 runoff, while the other is going to be extremely close and could potentially also go to a runoff. So the majority could be won tonight. Or. it could be won in January.

Helllo from DC! I am watching Georgia tonight. I went to high school in Atlanta and it's been fascinating to watch the massive demographic shifts that have been happening there, from people of color moving to the suburbs to the fast-growing immigrant population. Voter enthusiasm has been high there, setting records, and I'm curious to see if this is the year Georgia turns blue.

Hey, all! Reporting live from my couch, which is where I’ve been since … Super Tuesday. (Remember Super Tuesday?) To your question, Charlie, is ‘everything’ too broad of an answer? Ok, fine, I’ll specify slightly more. I got to cover the 2018 House midterms, and the themes for that election (suburban flight from GOP, deeper party polarization in suburban/urban vs. rural/exurban, gender gap between the two parties) are now, likely, to come into fuller view. For that reason, I’m keeping a close eye on the Sunbelt, especially Georgia and NC, for signs of what started in 2018 is now extending into 2020.

Two counties where we might be able to see that these trends converge are: Gwinnett County in Georgia and Wilson County, NC. Starting with Gwinnett, this northern Atlanta suburban county used to be solidly Republican territory. Now, it’s one of those quintessential 2020 examples of a place that’s booming, diversifying and turning away from Trump. If Democrats can run up a big, big score here, that’s how Biden manages to pull off a victory in Georgia, a state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992.

Wilson County, a suburban/exurban county in eastern NC, voted for Clinton in 2016, but barely. This is a spot where if Republicans can dig up some new non-college educated white voters, they might show up here. The Trump campaign recognized that – sending VP Mike Pence here last week to rally support. If Republicans can flip this county, that’s a very good sign that they’ll be able to hold on to NC.

Local voting rights activists discuss historical impact of voting laws

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Local voting rights activists will take aim at Georgia’s newest voting laws and discuss the historical impact of voting rights in the Peach State.

The Fight for Voter Rights in Georgia event is taking place June 20 at 4 p.m. The event will also be live streamed on the St. Philip AME Church “On the Boulveard” Facebook page.

Vaughnette Goode-Walker, African American Historian will discuss the historical impacts of the 15th Amendment, the Grandfather Clause and the Georgia White Primary.

Atty Mance will take aim at Georgia’s new voting bill, SB 202, which rolls back some expanded voting rights put in place during the 2020 elections. Mance plans to specifically discuss the bills’ new redistricting rules.

The bill also bans mobile voting centers, reduces the time to request an absentee ballot and bans the automatic mailing of absentee request ballots. It also reduces the number of drop-off ballots compared to what was in place in November 2020.

This event is the first in a series of the history of voting rights activism.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Georgia is now the key to the Senate

With Lyndon B. Johnson’s passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the South began to slip away from Democratic control and has in recent years been solidly Republican.

However, when Democrat Stacey Abrams narrowly lost the 2018 race for governor, she proved that Georgia is now more purple than red. Democrat Joe Biden’s winning performance in the 2020 presidential election further demonstrates that Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats are in play.

Given that Georgia’s runoff elections will determine which party controls the Senate, these two races will ultimately influence how much latitude Biden will have to enact his agenda.