Will it be a sweet ’16 for Georgia Democrats?

Source: 270towin.com

Source: 270towin.com

Can Hillary Clinton turn Georgia blue?

Yes, she most certainly can. Or perhaps more accurately, Donald Trump can. But “can” and “will” are two different propositions. Let’s take a deeper dive into the polling numbers and history to see how likely that really is, and let’s start with the most recent polling by Landmark Communications for Channel Two Action News.

Landmark puts the race at a virtual tie, with Trump drawing 45.9 percent and Clinton drawing 45.7 percent. However, that’s largely because so far, Trump draws support from just 81.5 percent of the state’s Republican voters. If he matched the 86.2 percent that Clinton draws among Georgia Democrats, he’d have a lead closer to the size that is more traditional for GOP candidates in Georgia politics.

A significant chunk of those reluctant Republican voters say they will either vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson (5 percent) or are undecided (3.5 percent). In an ordinary year, with ordinary candidates, you would expect those voters to gravitate back into the GOP column as Election Day grows near. For example, Johnson was also on the ballot in 2012, but in the end got only 1.16 percent of the vote.

However, I’m not confident that migration back into the GOP column is going to happen this year.

For one thing, those reluctant Republicans tend to be young. Some 10.4 percent of Georgia voters aged 18-39 say they’re going to vote for Johnson, and given the distaste for Trump’s style that shows up among young voters nationwide — largely driven by his policies on race and immigration — these prodigals might not be willing to come home to the GOP nominee.

landmark

As I’ve pointed out before, it’s also striking to note a stark generational divide. Among Georgia voters younger than 40, Clinton has a 11.9-point lead. Trump is even in the poll only because of his 11.6-point lead among voters 65 and older. People talk a lot about changing racial demographics as reason to believe that Georgia could become competitive in the next few cycles, but the blunt truth is that actuary tables are also pushing the state in that direction.

A second recent poll in Georgia, this one by Survey USA, produces similar numbers. Overall, it gives Trump a four-point lead, just outside its 2.9 percent margin of error. But it too gives Johnson an important 5 percent of the vote, with that support again concentrated among young, white voters. If that holds up, it’s entirely plausible that the winner in Georgia will end up with less than 50 percent of the vote, which again holds the door open further for Clinton.

SurveyUSA paints an even more stark generational divide than the Landmark survey. Among voters 34 and younger, Clinton almost doubles Trump, drawing 49 percent to Trump’s 25 percent. Conversely, Trump, with 60 percent of the senior citizen vote, almost doubles Clinton (33 percent) in that older demographic. (It’s also worth noting that both SurveyUSA and Landmark under-sample younger voters compared to the makeup of the 2012 electorate.)

Finally, let’s take a look at the projections at FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver’s data-driven prognostication site. Two weeks ago, its “polls plus” model — incorporating poll results, state history and economic indicators — gave Clinton a 15.8 percent chance of carrying Georgia. Today, thanks to a new batch of national and state polls, it has increased that probability to 24.5 percent.

I lack the tools to quantify to a tenth of a percentage point, but that feels in the right neighborhood to me. Clinton is still the clear underdog; you can’t look at the state’s voting history and conclude otherwise. But given the polls, the national trends and Trump’s eccentricities as a candidate, she has a real chance of pulling off the upset here.

And of course, if she does somehow win Georgia, it’s not as if our 16 electoral votes will somehow be crucial to the national outcome, because she’ll be riding into the White House on a landslide.

Reader Comments 0

860 comments
Dolores Jones
Dolores Jones

Georgia is saturated with Republicans. It is obvious that things are changing here. Every time I receive the goody two shoes email from my Republican congressional representative it is so slanted and generally negating President Obama. He wishes he were as intelligent as President Obama. We need more diversity in the politics of this state. If Secretary Clinton can create an environment to start the change I'm certainly for it.

Marvin Junior
Marvin Junior

Georgia is too backwards and racist to be blue. Worst place I have ever lived in my entire life!

David Quick
David Quick

Outside of south Fulton and south decab county,HRC is dispised. Never happen. Just like two years ago the leftys were peomoting the idea that Jason Carter could beat Deal. This has about the chance.same

RickB_GA
RickB_GA

Trump is done. He has talked his way out of serious consideration. Mrs. Clinton is one of the most vile and corrupt persons on the planet. Looking hard at third party. 

Rango-
Rango-

@RickB_GA Why don't you try another planet or why not waste your vote by writing in some gomer nobody's ever heard of? Clinton the most vile and corrupt on the planet? You must have bought all of Trump's BS hook, line and sinker on dry land.  Just vote, thank god you only have just one vote anyway.






Lynda Timms
Lynda Timms

Hell no! We don't want that criminal!!!!

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

Hillary will lose--'Stand on your head and I'll cover whatever falls out!'

Lowell Dearsman
Lowell Dearsman

negative Ghost rider. Georgia is staying Red, Obama couldn't turn it blue so Hillary definitely won't.

Connie Denby
Connie Denby

Hillary is the Liar of the Year. If you cannot see this, there is no hope for you. End of the story!

Mike Williams
Mike Williams

CAN she? Yes. WILL she? No! Ga. Republicans vote; Ga. Democrats stay drunk and stay home.

Anthony Clifton
Anthony Clifton

She doesn't need Georgia to beat this clown, the election will be called by 10 pm eastern time, Clinton land slide.

Peggy Gunn
Peggy Gunn

It does surprise me was not one of her supporters in the KKK. I don't care what color you are I don't trust Clinton,as she is opening the doors to the illegals,that's scary to me.They give out a lot of money to illegals but seniors of America didn't get a raise this last year.No money.

Peggy Gunn
Peggy Gunn

Thank you Herman Cain,you are a great man.

Bonnie Chase
Bonnie Chase

Georgia will be no different then Yankees if they turn & vote for Killary!

Rango-
Rango-

The Civil war was over 150 years ago..Guess What?the Yankees won!.. so get over it Scarlett.!!! and leave your drapes right where they are.


Susan Kemp
Susan Kemp

You would actually vote for Hillary. She has not accomplish nothing. She has lied, stolen, even murder. She lost her law degree because of her lied. She has made it well known she does not like black people, she said that the young black males were super predictors. She said on national television she was going to raise taxes on the middle class.

Joy Chilton
Joy Chilton

Do you really want to know how many lies the trump campaign has made? Donald contradicts himself almost every time he opens his ignorant mouth! He is temperamental and quite mentally unstable, not someone I want to put the lives of my family in his hands. I want to see his tax returns, melania's papers that she entered the US legally, and proof that Trump has given all the money that he says he has to different charities. He won't provide this and that means he is hiding something. And for the record: Hillary did not lose her law degree, was not disbarred. You should check your facts carefully before you post recklessly!

Rango-
Rango-


I predict you are on an unauthorized computer at your home in the state nervous hospital. Go back to your room, you missed your medication.




Susan Kemp
Susan Kemp

I'm not speaking recklessly she lost it during Watergate. He husband has lost his. So has both Obamas. I would be glad to send you proof.

Susan Kemp
Susan Kemp

Mike Lindsey all you have to do is Google it Barack was disbarred. Michele surrender her of face a trial for insurance fire

Susan Kemp
Susan Kemp

Hillary was disbarred also. Michele tionIt was insurance fraud. Barack lose his for lied on bar application

Susan Kemp
Susan Kemp

Would have been more happy to have gotten back to you sooner but I DON'T LIKE ORDERS.

Ronald Shearn
Ronald Shearn

Hillary can turn georgia as long as young and senior blacks get out and vote...young whites realize that you need help with college and job training...Hispanics. Stand up vote you are just as much a part of this country....Women in general. You deserve. Equal wages you paid your due....gay community. It was the democratic. Party who stood by you for equal justice....Asian community we stand with you.. God Bless let's. Make Georgia great again

Pat Stephens
Pat Stephens

That would take Trump to make Ga. Great again! Hillary is corrupt to the core, and has been all her career! What has she done. She calls her supporters Useful Idiots. Wants your vote that's all

Rango-
Rango-

That's right and me and all of my whole group  useful idiot friends are going to make her our next President!

Ruth Weber
Ruth Weber

Hello Georgia what do you say ????

Connie Denby
Connie Denby

The folks that are saying Trump's court cases were mostly against him are wrong. He was in court to collect money from people, who had not paid him. Look it up!

Joy Chilton
Joy Chilton

Connie Denby- you are very incorrect on this post! You should thoroughly research something before you post irresponsibly.

Mike Lindsey
Mike Lindsey

Trump's been in court being sued by people he OWES!!!

Lisa Bowen
Lisa Bowen

Sorry every biker around will come rolling through George South wait and see Trump will win every state all 50 wait and see.

Lisa Bowen
Lisa Bowen

It already red waiting for our president Mr Trump he's has the South come on down bring all bikers get ready we love you Trump.

Quentin Jones
Quentin Jones

Georgia and South Carolina will never be blue. Not with all these Trump loving sumbitches.

Theressa Loyd
Theressa Loyd

Absolutely! \U0001f499 The GOP have literally screwed themselves over the last few years with that "GOOD OL' BOY" mentality. Refusing & Blocking everything President Obama has put forth. Even if it was something in the best interest of our Country. And now! They've chosen a fraudulent, three time divorced, bankrupt, draft dodging, child rapist, ignorant orange face clown Donald Trump! To represent them as their party leader for the United States of America! If Georgia still still votes Red. We are all #DEAD!