Georgia, last state to be called, goes to Biden
By Colby Itkowitz and Scott Clement
Georgia, the last state to be called in the 2020 presidential election, has been won by Biden, giving the president-elect another 16 electoral votes to expand his lead over Trump.
Trump’s apparent early lead in the state on election night eroded as mail-in ballots from more Democratic areas were counted. Georgia, which voted for Trump by five percentage points in 2016, was a major pickup for Democrats, who have hoped to one day flip the state.
Biden visited the state for the first time in the campaign a week before the election, seeing possibility there but never counting on it to deliver him the presidency.
Like other Sun Belt states, Georgia’s population has grown younger and more diverse, cutting into the long-held Republican advantage there. Much credit has gone to Democrat Stacey Abrams, who, after losing a race for governor in 2018, made it her mission to fight voter suppression and register new voters.
Although the race has been called for Biden, the political drama in the state is far from over. The narrow margin of victory triggered a hand recount of nearly 5 million ballots, which began Friday, but Biden’s current lead of 14,152 votes in Georgia is expected to withstand any recount changes.
A 2020 Fairvote study of 31 recounts across various states found on average recounts shifted the vote margin by 430 votes. The largest shift in the percentage-point margin was in Vermont’s 2006 auditor’s race, in which the recount shifted the vote margin 0.107 percentage points, a 239-vote swing. Biden’s current percentage-point advantage is more than twice that level, standing at 0.28 percentage points.
In the meanwhile, Georgia will become the center of the political universe, with both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats up for grabs in dual runoff elections on Jan. 5. The winners of those races will determine the balance of power in the Senate.