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Hot Take #12: Dr. Keith Jennings

Hot Take #12: Dr. Keith Jennings
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#12: What’s Going On in Georgia?

By Dr. Keith Jennings

President Donald Trump has received 68 million popular votes. He currently has 214 electoral votes.  In order to win the presidency again he needs an additional 53 electoral votes to reach 270 electoral vote.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has received over 72 million popular votes, the most of any candidate for president in the history of the United States. However, in order for him to win the presidency, he needs an additional 6 electoral votes to reach the required 270 total.

Currently, the two candidates are locked in a race to the finish line to get the 270 electoral votes.  There are five remaining battleground states, each with an important number of electoral votes total.  They are:

  1. Arizona (11)
  2. Georgia (16)
  3. Nevada (6)
  4. North Carolina (15)
  5. Pennsylvania (20)

In the state of Georgia, President Donald Trump holds a tiny edge over former Vice President Joe Biden, 49.5 percent to 49.2 percent, respectfully. The difference between the two candidates translates into an 18,540-vote margin in favor of President Trump.

So what’s driving the too close to call election in Georgia? Georgia’s demographics have changed dramatically over the past 20 years.  Georgia is now 59 percent White, 33 percent African American, 9 percent Latinx, 3 percent Asian American and 1 percent Native American. The state is also home to many other peoples. People of color comprise 45 percent of the state’s total population, however all of Georgia’s Constitutional officers are White males and largely due to gerrymandering, the Republican party enjoys a supermajority in the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia is 6th in the nation with confirmed COVID-19 cases and 9th in the nation with regard to COVID-19 deaths.

In response to the shrinking margin between the two candidates, the Trump Campaign and the Republican party filed a lawsuit against the Chatham County Board of Elections to stop the vote count, claiming that the Board was counting 50 unprocessed absentee ballots that somehow had been mixed up with processed absentee ballots.  The lawsuit was dismissed for lack of evidence as the Court determined that ballots were received after 7:00 pm when the polls closed.

As of this morning (November 5, 2020) there were approximately 60,000 ballots still to be counted.  Most of these ballots are from the urban and suburban centers in five or six counties.  For example, among the highest totals were 17,157 in Chatham County, 7,408 Clayton County, 11,200 in Fulton, County, and 7,300 in Gwinnett County.

The majority of voters in the aforementioned counties tend to vote overwhelming in favor of the Democrats.  Additionally, the major cities within those counties also happen to have large African American populations as the table below depicts:

Clayton, County

73% African American

Jonesboro 65%

African American

 

Chatham County

42% African American

Savannah 55%

African American

 

Fulton County

43% African American

Atlanta 52%

African American

 

Gwinnett County

30% African American

Snellville 41%

African American

 

Therefore, with respect to the “to close to call” election in Georgia, here is how it will most likely unfold:  Biden will erase the 18,540 vote difference between Trump and himself, and earn at least 60 – 65% of the remaining 42,000 votes, giving him a vote advantage in the neighborhood of about 8,000 to 11,000 votes, depending on the number of disqualified ballots.

The projected Biden advantage would have to be measured against the absentee votes cast by the military that also remain to be counted. Can Biden win Georgia? Yes.

Dr. Keith Jennings is the President of the African American Center on Global Politics and Human Rights

 

 

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