A Quick Look At Georgia’s Political Landscape

Adapted from my Substack, Gwinnettian Adventures.

While it’s all but certain that former President Trump will have the GOP nomination all but sewn up by the time Georgia hold its Presidential Preference Primary, we Peach Staters will play a pivotal role in determining who wins the White House, and which party controls the Congress.

Why Georgia Matters.

In 2020, when Joe Biden edged out Donald Trump in Georgia, it was the first time a Democratic Presidential candidate had won the Peach State since Bill Clinton in 1992. To be sure, the margin of victory for Republicans in recent Presidential elections had been shrinking, but coming in to the 2020 race, many thought Trump would carry the state. The reasons for Trump’s defeat have been hotly debated over the intervening years and I don’t care to go into them here. It’s safe to say however, that Georgia is up for grabs in 2024 with Trump as the Republican nominee. Frankly, I don’t see a Republican winning the Presidency without winning Georgia.

Polling In Georgia.

A new poll released January 16th by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows Trump leading Biden in Georgia 45% – 37%, with 18% intending to vote for someone else or undecided. Polls released 293 days before an election are practically meaningless, but they’re fun to read and use when speculating on the potential outcome.

Third Party Presidential Candidates in Georgia.

Georgia has very stringent ballot access laws, requiring independent and third party candidates to obtain signatures from 5% of registered voters to qualify to run for most offices. However, the Green Party won a lawsuit in 2016 and now independent and third party Presidential candidates are only required to obtain signatures from 7,500 registered voters to earn a spot on the General Election ballot.

Independent candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr. is attempting to gain access to the General Election ballot in Georgia. With the backing of a super PAC, he is likely to appear on the ballot and could play a key role in determining who wins Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.

In addition, the Libertarian Party is allowed under Georgia law to have their nominee for President placed on the General Election ballot. Libertarians generally attract between 1% and 3% of the statewide vote in Georgia.

Important Election Dates In Georgia.

Georgia’s Presidential Preference Primary for Democrats and Republicans will be Tuesday March 12th, one week after Super Tuesday.

Georgia’s General Primary for state and local races will be Tuesday May 21st and of course the General Election will take place on Tuesday November 5th.


Key Races To Watch.

3rd district Congressman Drew Ferguson announced in December he would not seek reelection. Several candidates have announced their candidacy in this heavily Republican district. Will the winner be a “MAGA” Republican or a more traditional Republican in the mold of Ferguson?

After Court ordered redistricting, current 6th district Congresswoman Lucy McBath announced she would be running in the re-formed 6th district, which is now on the west side of Atlanta, as opposed to her current district anchored in Gwinnett county, on the east side of Atlanta. McBath claimed her district switch was necessary because Republicans had targeted her. However her re-drawn district (now numbered the 13th district) is still a favorable district for her, with Democrats expected to claim almost 69% of the vote. McBath’s move to the new 6th likely means current incumbent David Scott will not be running again.

New Maps.

Last October, Judge Steven Jones tossed out Georgia’s Congressional and Legislative maps, instructing the Legislature to create more majority African-American districts. The Legislature did, mostly by adjusting and combining Democratic leaning districts. In December, Judge Jones ruled that the new maps met his requirements, to the shock of Democrats. Consequently, the partisan balance of Georgia’s Congressional delegation should remain 9-5 in favor of the Republicans. Republicans hold a 33-23 edge in the State Senate. The new maps shouldn’t change these numbers.

In the State House however, there are now 75 seats where Democrats should expect to get 55% of the vote or greater (according to Dave’s Redistricting), and 94 seats where Republicans should get 55% or more. This leaves 11 seats within 55% for either party. Of those, 6 are held by Democrats and 5 by Republicans. Three of the Democratically held seats lean Republican and three of the Republican held seats lean Democratic. Thus, there could be some seats flipped in the State House, but they could also be offset by flips the other way. Republicans hold a 102-78 majority currently.


Despite the redistricting drama of late 2023, Georgia will do it’s part to help Republicans keep their slim majority in the U.S. Congress. The real drama will be which Presidential candidate carries the state. In my opinion, Trump puts Georgia in play where the lone remaining challenger to Trump’s dominance Nikki Haley, would win Georgia comfortably. With Trump likely to secure the GOP nomination, Georgia could be the state that decides the Presidency.

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