5 things to watch in every state: Georgia

This is potentially a swing state for Hillary Clinton.  But there are some other things worth watching, as well.  I know that This American Life would want me to talk about Amendment 3. But they did a better job than I ever could to cover the issue.

  1. Presidential election: As I mentioned that this is a potential swing state for Hillary Clinton.  The reason being is that demographics in the state are slowly changing in favor of Democrats.  Trump has a small lead in the state according to the polls I looked at with HuffPost Pollster.  So while, it’s possible that Clinton wins the state, it would take another scandal for Trump to fall below his projections to swing it to Clinton.  I’m not dismissing it but a closer than expected race in Georgia only fuels the fire of the accelerant that is Trump’s campaign to the impending Democratic demographic dominance.
  2. Georgia State Senate, District 43: this State Senate District was held by Democrat Ronald Ramsey.  He was unopposed in both 2012 and 2014.  Ramsey resigned from his seat in 2015 to become a judge in the DeKalb County traffic court.  The special election had to go to a runoff election and Republican Janice Frey Van Ness was able to win the election by 84 votes.  There were 7,646 total votes cast in the runoff election.  To put this in perspective, when Ramsey ran unopposed in 2012, he received 59,411 votes. With more votes, it seems like it might be able to swing back to the Democrats.  Tonya Anderson who lost the runoff election is running for a rematch against Frey Van Ness on November 8th.
  3. Georgia House of Representatives, District 138: Democrats can’t take back the House of Representatives unless something really strange happens. But we can still look at a few of the elections that are happening the state House of Representatives.  Republican Mike Cheokas won re-election to the Georgia House of Representatives with 8,101 votes this was 108 votes more than the Democratic challenger Kevin Brown.  In 2014, in a rematch, Cheokas was able to win by 448 votes.  Luckily for those in District 138,  Brown is not running for a third straight election against Cheokas.  The Democratic challenger is Bill McGowan.  If we think that Clinton has a shot to win the state, it would take shifting some of the districts in the state.  Why not a district that was only separated by 108 votes in 2012?
  4. Georgia House of Representatives, District 105: This is another House district that could flip with a potential shift in the state from Republican to Democratic or with depressed Republican turnout.  Republican Joyce Chandler was elected to the House with 10,561 votes, 554 more votes than her Democratic challenger, Renita Hamilton.  As we’ve seen with almost every state legislature election, there was a rematch in 2014.  Hamilton lost again to Chandler, this time by less than 800 votes.  This time around, the Democratic challenger is Donna McLeod.  If the state continues its leftward drift, about 600 votes should be doable…right?
  5. Georgia House of Representatives, District 80: This is the opposite of a number of districts I want to watch.  Mike Jacobs was re-elected without opposition in 2012.  He received 16,041 votes.  He ran without opposition in 2014, as well.  He was appointed to the DeKalb county State Court in May of 2015.  The special election to replace him advanced to a runoff where Democrat Taylor Bennett was elected with 2,715 votes over Republican J. Max Davis (2,263) votes.  Republican Megan Hanson is trying to unseat Bennett on November 8th.  It will most likely flip.  But it will be fun to watch s the votes come in if Bennett can hold onto a seat that would normally be more conservative.