Recount gives Biden the edge over Trump by 12,284 votes
by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer
America’s first Black president, Barack Obama, won the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, but with no electoral college help from the state of Georgia.
African Americans came out the woodwork to vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012 in Georgia, but it was, to put it bluntly, a lot of Georgia’s White population who did not cast a vote for Obama. Many of them voted for John McCain in 2008, then Mitt Romney in 2012, the Republican challengers.
Fast forward to 2016. Nothing changed. Georgia went to the Republican, Donald Trump, by five points over the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
Still, the New Pittsburgh Courier was crazy enough to predict in its Oct. 28, 2020 edition that Georgia would be won by the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, and not Trump, in the 2020 election.
And after a recount of the five million votes tallied in Georgia, its Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, announced Nov. 19 that Biden officially defeated Trump in the Peach State.
This is not a misprint. Georgia, at least in 2020, isn’t the Georgia of old. Or, at the very least, one can confirm that the demographics and ideologies of some of the state’s residents have changed. The Courier, in its Oct. 28 print edition, made reference to the possibility that Georgia, a traditional Red state, would go Blue for Biden. So many African American organizations pounded the pavement in Atlanta and the surrounding ‘burbs over the past few years, stressing the need to vote in the 2020 Presidential Election. Most African Americans grew sour of President Trump, and wanted him out of office.
The official vote count in Georgia, as of Nov. 19: 2,475,141 votes for Biden, 2,462,857 votes for Trump. Biden won by 12,284 votes.
But if other Southern states like Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina handily went to Trump in the 2020 election like they did in 2016, what made Georgia so different?
One word: Atlanta.
Political experts love to focus on the changing demographic of Atlanta’s suburban areas as a key to Georgia’s political pivot, but don’t forget; there would be no massive influx of newcomers if not for Atlanta itself.
Black people want to be in Atlanta. Black people want to party in Atlanta. Black people want to open up businesses in Atlanta. Black people can get record deals in Atlanta. Black people can get jobs in Atlanta. Black people can see or experience anything they want in Atlanta, except snowstorms and Super Bowl wins by the home-team Falcons.
When Black millenials plan a vacation, everyone agrees on going to Atlanta. There are some who fret that Atlanta is “overrated.” But when the city was named the top place (along with Washington, D.C.) where African Americans were doing the best economically by Forbes Magazine in 2018, it’s hard to criticize the ATL.
USA Today in 2019 named Atlanta the nation’s Black tech capital. The news organization reported last year how one in four workers in the tech field in Atlanta’s metro area were Black. Compare that to just 2.5 percent Black in the San Jose area, and 6.4 percent in the Bay Area, according to a Brookings Institution study.
When it comes to cost of living, Atlanta packs a whole lot for less than half the price one would pay to live in, say, the Silicon Valley. When it comes to entrepreneurs, there’s no place like Atlanta to see African Americans betting on themselves and their products to make a living. And when it comes to jobs, Atlanta has Fortune 500 companies everywhere, like Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS and Delta Airlines. There’s also Cox Enterprises, a media company; the cable network CNN; the credit gathering company Equifax; and so many other big-time companies in the area.
Much of Atlanta’s population are not natives. This has caused Atlanta not to have a hardcore, passionate fan base for its professional sports teams, compared with the diehards in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago. With everything that non-natives must encounter when moving to Atlanta, namely how to get around without getting lost, making new friends and picking the right neighborhoods, registering to vote in the new state might get lost in the shuffle.
That’s where Stacey Abrams is credited with getting African Americans, many of whom in the region identifying as transplants, to register to vote in Georgia and then, participate in the elections.
Abrams, a Black woman, founded The New Georgia Project in 2013, an initiative focused on registering minority voters in the state, according to USA Today. Her persistence throughout the years helped create a new wave of Democratic voters in Georgia, and when Abrams ran for governor of Georgia, she came within 55,000 votes of victory, or 1.4 percent. Abrams was poised to make history in 2018 when she was in a heated battle for the governor’s seat with Republican Brian Kemp. She would have become America’s first Black female governor.
USA Today reported that after her 2018 defeat, Abrams founded Fair Fight, a progressive group with a goal similar to the New Georgia Project of registering voters nationally and combating voter suppression in states like Georgia.
Since Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election, Georgia has seen one million new registered voters; two-thirds of whom were people of color. Advantage goes to the Democrats. And a majority of the new voters reside in Fulton County, where Atlanta is located, and the counties surrounding Fulton; Douglas, Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Clayton, Henry, Rockdale and Newton.
All the aforementioned counties went Blue for Biden in its respective vote counts. In Fulton County, Biden won 73 percent of the vote. Clayton County had 85 percent for Biden; Douglas (62%); Cobb (56%); Gwinnett (58%); Rockdale (70%); Henry (60%); and Newton (55%).
A closer analysis of Georgia’s vote count shows that while Biden won the counties that house the cities Columbus, Augusta and Savannah, Georgia was redder than a rose in North Georgia, South Georgia and Southeastern Georgia. Those areas are Trump country.
CBS News exit polls reported on Nov. 5 that 87 percent of the Black vote in Georgia went to Biden; 11 percent went to Trump. For White voters in Georgia, 70 percent went to Trump, 29 percent went to Biden. But Biden received more votes than Clinton among Whites, 29 percent to Clinton’s 21 percent in 2016.
Including Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, Biden finished the 2020 Presidential Election with 306 electoral votes, to Trump’s 232. The Courier had predicted in its Oct. 28 print edition that Biden would defeat Trump, 309 to 229.
Come Jan. 20, 2021, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated as the next president and vice-president of the United States. And this time, African Americans in Georgia can truly say they were instrumental in Biden’s victory…and ousting Trump.