Will the Democrats win the GA Governor Race?

The Republican victory margin in 2006 was equivalent to the entire population of Metro Atlanta. By 2018, it was barely enough to fill the Atlanta Falcons stadium.

1/4/2022 2 min read

Georgia was flipped Blue by Biden in 2020, marking the first time since 1996 the Democrats had carried the state at Presidential level. Their 2020 majority of just under 12,000 votes flipped the Republicans 2016 victory margin of over 200,000 votes. However, it is not just at the Presidential level where the Democrats have made impressive inroads. The Governors’ Mansion is also starting to take on a shade of purple, possibly before turning blue.

Analysis performed by Arithmos Analytics has examined the margin of victory for every Georgia Governor election this century. We found that in 2006, the Republicans won with a commanding margin of victory of 418,675 votes. But by 2010, this had dropped to just 258,821. By 2014, the victory margin for the Republicans was 200,443 votes, now less than half what it had been just two elections earlier. But the biggest shock was in 2018, when the Democrats came the closest they have come in years to victory.

In 2018, Stacy Abrams ran a well-funded campaign, which emphasized voter registration amongst likely Democrat voters. This mean the Democrat vote was ruthlessly maximized. In addition, Georgia has seen large numbers of college-educated voters migrate from other states, most of them left-leaning states on the Pacific Coast or in the Northeast. This combined to give the Democrats a very powerful performance. Whilst it was still not quite enough to win, it reduced the Republican victory margin to just 54,723 votes. In short, the Republican victory margin in 2006 was equivalent to the entire population of Metro Atlanta. By 2018, it was barely enough to fill the Atlanta Falcons stadium. In fact, you would have nearly 20,000 empty seats.

The Republicans in Georgia face huge challenges in 2022. Stacy Abrams will run again, capitalizing on name recognition from last time. Her vote registration operation will work again, and the Democrats are flushed with confidence following their flipping the State Blue in 2020 at Presidential level, and winning not one, but two US Senate seats there.

By contrast the Republicans are more divided. Governor Kemp distanced himself from Donald Trump in late 2020, angering much of the Republican base he once courted for victory. Being against Trump is a major problem for Georgia Republicans. In 2020, Trump won 2,461,854 votes. The two Republican Senate candidates in the 2021 run-off averaged just 2,225,724. This means 236,130 Republicans stayed at home in 2021, enough voters to fill the Atlanta Falcons stadium 3.3 times over. Given the narrow margins in Georgia, this was decisive in the double Senate victories. In 2022, the Governors’ race will coincide with the Democrats defending one of the two US Senate seats they captured in 2021.

Needless to say, the Peach State Governor race will be a major test of how American politics is trending.

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