Georgia In Play: From Likely to Lean GOP, Plus, How Will Counties Vote?

Projected Presidential vVote in Georgia.  Credit: Shareblue.com
Projected Presidential vVote in Georgia. Credit: Shareblue.com
Everyone is familiar with the maps that attempt to show how each state will vote in the presidential race, typically color coded red and blue, with lighter shades indicating less confidence in the prediction. Over at ShareBlue, a Democratic-leaning media company, they’ve come up with state-level maps that project how each county will vote in November.

The projections are pretty much what one would expect, with the GOP taking most of the state’s counties. Metro Atlanta Democratic strongholds of Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton and Rockdale counties show Hillary Clinton winning by more then a 10% margin. (Clayton is the highest, at 74%). Other strongholds include Athens-Clarke County, Chatham and Liberty Counties, and the so-called Black Belt stretching from Augusta to west of Albany. Counties with between a 5 and 10% Democratic margin include Baldwin, Dooley, Douglas and Early. The narrowest margins for Clinton, at less than 5%, include Baker, Chattahoochee, Henry, Mitchell, Webster, and Wilkinson.

For the Republicans, counties with between a 5 and 10% margin include metro Atlanta’s Cobb and Gwinnett, along with Brooks, Decatur, Jenkins, Lowndes, McIntosh, Taylor, and Wilkes. GOP counties on the bubble with less than a 5% margin for Donald Trump include Henry, Madison Meriwether, and Screven. ShareBlue’s overall prediction for the state is Trump +3.5%, which aligns with recent polling. But as others have noticed, the last polls of Georgia were back in September, before the debates and revelations about Donald Trump.

Which brings us to Larry Sabato’s University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. In this week’s Crystal Ball, editor Kyle Kondik moves the Peach State from Likely Republican to Lean Republican, citing close polls and the report yesterday that the Clinton campaign is considering increasing its efforts here. But, Kondik warns, “Clinton win in Arizona or Georgia would be evidence of a Clinton rout that matches or exceeds Obama‚Äôs seven-point 2008 romp.” Nationally, the Crystal Ball predicts a Hillary Clinton win, with 341 electoral votes to Donald Trump’s 197. If it’s any indication of how polarized the race has become, there are no no toss up states in their ratings.

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