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Politics Can Biden pull off a win in Georgia?

02:20  27 october  2020
02:20  27 october  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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the humble and devout Christian peanut farmer from Georgia , and Donald Trump, the flashy real Similarly, the Trump administration has kept up its attempts to get past the virus but the virus won ’t If he can pull this off , Joe Biden has a good chance of following in the electoral tracks of Ronald Reagan.

The last time a Democratic nominee for president won Georgia, “Wayne’s World” was a box office hit, Boyz II Men topped the charts and Senate hopeful Jon Ossoff was 5 years old.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Joe Biden talking with a voter during a campaign stop Monday in Chester, Pa. © Kevin Lamarque/Reuters Joe Biden talking with a voter during a campaign stop Monday in Chester, Pa.

On Tuesday, Joe Biden will campaign there, sending the strongest signal yet that Democrats are serious about trying to shake the Republican Party’s decades-long grip on the second most populous state in the Deep South. Their hopes are powered by two pillars of the emerging Democratic coalition, Black voters and suburbanites.

Biden’s visit will include a speech in Warm Springs, where Franklin D. Roosevelt’s private retreat was located. His remarks, which aides billed as a major piece of his closing argument, are expected to urge national unity in a country confronting difficult challenges. Later, he will host a drive-in rally in Atlanta.

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Joe Biden heads to Georgia on Tuesday hoping to snatch away a Trump state. Mike Pence keeping up his schedule despite being a 'close contact' of infected aide Marc Pence flies to Hibbing Minnesota, birthplace of singer Bob Dylan, as Republicans hope to flip a state that Clinton closely won in 2016.

Asked about the coronavirus, Biden invoked his experience with Ebola and rattled off the measures the Obama administration took. “Ask yourself the question: You’re running for the United States Senate in Georgia , where we can win , in North Carolina, here in this state, in Pennsylvania, in Arizona.

The trip is a gamble for a nominee who has limited his appearances in the final days of the race. Time is a candidate’s most valuable commodity, and his decision to spend a day in Georgia reflects his advisers’ growing confidence about springing an upset there.

But the Biden camp is pinning its hopes on demographic shifts and rising anger with President Trump in a state that could have an outsize impact on the balance of power in Washington. Its two competitive Senate races could determine which party controls the chamber, and the state also host a pair of closely watched House races and a fierce battle for control of the statehouse.

“[Biden] understands the vitality of the Sun Belt and the importance of not just winning this election, but setting the table for success for the Senate and for the country,” said former gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, whose near miss in the 2018 governor's race made her a Democratic star. She added, “Georgia has been ground zero for many of these conversations.”

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Yet a Trump loss and Biden win is no guarantee. If Biden does not seriously begin campaigning, then it is more than likely that Trump will be re-elected. There are other states where voting rights have been curtailed, including Georgia , Texas and North Carolina. From purging the rolls of registered

If Trump once again can pull off a come-from-behind victory, Democrats might have to settle for holding on to the House. “It’s hard for me to imagine a scenario where Biden doesn’t win A Georgia seat held by Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed, is considered more likely to remain in

But strategists in both parties said victory is uncertain for Biden. Trump, who has campaigned actively in the state, retains considerable strength among White voters in rural areas, giving him a base that will be hard to shake.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll released Monday illustrated how close the state has become, with Biden winning 47 percent of likely voters and Trump taking 46 percent. Sen. David Perdue (R) is running about even with his challenger Ossoff (D), and Democrat Raphael Warnock is leading in the special Senate election, which is expected to go to a runoff.

Turnout in Georgia so far suggests a Democratic advantage, although strategists from both parties caution that Republicans could make up that ground on Election Day, when polls show most Republicans will vote. As of Monday, more than 2.7 million Georgians had cast ballots either in person or by mail, according to data from the Georgia secretary of state — well above the total early vote in 2016, with a week still to go.

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He is all but assured to win commanding delegate majorities in Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. Mr. Sanders now needs around 57 percent of the remaining delegates to claim a majority. To pull it off , he would need to post decisive victories in states he would have almost certainly lost if they had voted on

Biden won convincingly in Warren’s home state of Massachusetts, (Sanders’ backyard) and her birth state of Oklahoma. He also performed better than expected in Sanders’ strongholds like California. Even Bernie’s biggest wins were nearly split in half with delegates going almost equally to Biden .

One distinct advantage for Biden in the early numbers is the share of the votes cast by Black voters, which by Sunday was about 31 percent of the total mail-in vote — roughly the same as the Black share of the overall electorate in 2016. Polls show that more Black voters plan to vote in person than by mail, meaning that turnout rate could grow on Election Day.

Campaigning in Chester, Pa., Biden said he had a “fighting chance” in GOP-leaning states such as Georgia. “I’m going to be going to Iowa, I’m going to Wisconsin, I’m going to Georgia, I’m going to Florida, and maybe other places as well,” Biden said.

Biden’s advisers have been watching Georgia for months, but Tuesday’s trip marks his first visit as the nominee. A Democratic candidate spending time in the state this close to an election has been a rare sight over the years. Bill Clinton was the last to win the state; four years after his 1992 victory, Republicans claimed it and haven’t given it up since.

But in recent years, several factors have made the state a riper target for Democrats, according to Alan Abramowitz, an Emory University political scientist. One is an influx of younger voters and voters of color. Another is a shift in the preferences of white voters with college degrees, who have become more Democratic across the country in the Trump era. Finally, suburbs that once leaned Republican are trending blue.

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Biden 's campaign says he will be in Warm Springs, Georgia , on Tuesday, the first time he's visited the state since clinching the Democratic presidential nomination. His Georgia swing just one week before Election Day indicates he sees what he calls the Trump administration's bungled federal response to

“You put that together and you see that even in 2016, when overall the country shifted toward Republicans, Georgia actually shifted toward Democrats,” Abramowitz said.

Trump won Georgia by about five percentage points that year, and some Democrats think Biden’s chances may be better there than in North Carolina, which has attracted more attention as a potential swing state.

In the final stage of the race, Biden has sought to portray himself as a unifying figure who can repair the divisions that have spread in the Trump era. His advisers and allies said his Tuesday speech in Warm Springs is expected to hit similar notes and nod to Roosevelt, who confronted war and a depression. Some aides drew comparisons to a recent speech in Gettysburg, Pa., in which Biden invoked Abraham Lincoln and drew parallels to the Civil War.

Still, Democrats have thought they were on the cusp of winning Georgia before, only to fall short. Trump's aides say they are confident about capturing the state, and Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said Biden’s trip will be a waste of his “limited campaign travel” on a state “he’s not going to win.”

“I invite him to spend his time in Georgia,” Stepien told reporters Monday. “We feel very, very confident in our standing in Georgia, based not just on polling information, but the early voting data paints a very favorable picture for the president.”

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But the president’s recent travel schedule, and his allies’ spending patterns, suggest Republicans do see the state as competitive.

Trump has visited Georgia twice over the past month, including for a rally in Macon on Oct. 16. Trump's son Don Jr. made two appearances in the state last week.

And on Friday, America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, unveiled a late $10 million advertising push in five states, including Georgia. A month earlier, a separate $40 million ad buy from the group also included Georgia.

Brian Robinson, a GOP consultant in the state, said this attention from Republicans shows the state is up for grabs. The political shifts over the last four years are significant, he said, as suburban voters have drifted away from Republicans and rural voters have hardened their support for Trump.

“Atlanta is a tale of the country, as far as what the suburbs do,” said Robinson, who lives in the northern part of DeKalb County, outside Atlanta. “More than ever, what the suburbs here will determine is, do enough white people who live around me vote for Biden? Or do they stick to where they’ve been most of their lives and vote Republican? The entire country should be watching this.”

Robinson, a longtime spokesman for former governor Nathan Deal (R), described a “30-30” rule that political strategists use in Georgia: If Democrats can increase Black voter turnout to 30 percent of the electorate and win at least 30 percent of the white vote, they have a good chance of carrying the state.

Despite multiple efforts, Democrats have not been able to reach those thresholds in recent elections. While Black voters have made up a large portion of the early vote, Republicans don’t see that as reflective of the final electorate.

Trump’s firewall could be the rural counties in southern Georgia where recent Republican candidates have dominated with as much as 90 percent of the vote, and where many people may vote on Election Day rather than earlier. The president has encouraged his supporters to turn out in force on Nov. 3, telling a crowd in Pennsylvania on Monday that Election Day would reveal a “red wave” of support.

Other Republicans dismissed the Democratic optimism. “This happens every four years,” said Seth Weathers, a Republican strategist and Trump’s former political director in Georgia. “Please let me be on record that I’m claiming Georgia as a Trump victory.”

Amy Gardner, Amy B Wang and Annie Linskey contributed to this report.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Joe Biden talking with a voter during a campaign stop Monday in Chester, Pa. © Kevin Lamarque/Reuters Joe Biden talking with a voter during a campaign stop Monday in Chester, Pa.

How to watch election night 2020: the definitive hour-by-hour guide .
Election Day is nearly here, and in a matter of hours we’ll find out whether this is the end of the campaign — or just the beginning of a protracted fight over who won. At 7 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time, which applies to all times mentioned here), we’ll start to see returns from Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia. Trump won all four of these states in 2016 and needs to win them again in 2020. The good news for viewers is that we should see relatively quick results in these key states, all of which are allowed to start processing (i.e., opening envelopes, validating signatures or even counting) their early votes and mail ballots before Election Day.

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