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Obama Winning Georgia? How He Could Pull Off An Upset  …

11:04 pm - 10/24/2008

Obama Winning Georgia? How He Could Pull Off An Upset


A new InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position survey shows the remarkable: Barack Obama could very well win the deep-red state of Georgia.

The Illinois Democrat, according to the poll, has a slight edge over John McCain -- by a margin of 48 percent to 47 percent. The findings represent an outlier from other public opinion surveys, though Democracy Corps had the race extremely tight just a few days ago. The attention they are garnering is driven as much by the novelty as by a sincere belief that Obama could pull off the upset.

But from a strictly numerical standpoint, political observers shouldn't be all that shocked if the Democrats flips the Peach State. The data certainly lines up in Obama's favor.

The population in Georgia, according to the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, breaks down roughly as follows: 61.5 percent white, 30 percent African-American, and 6.5 percent Hispanic.


But the political map has, traditionally, been different. In 2004, the Georgia voting public consisted of roughly 3,280,000 individuals who broke down as follows: 70 percent white, 25 percent African-American, and 4 percent Hispanic.


Those dynamics led to a fairly easy victory for George W. Bush. The president took 76 percent of the white vote, 12 percent of the black vote, and 56 percent of the Hispanic vote en route to winning the state by a margin of 58 percent to 41 percent.

Flash forward four years and every change in Georgia's demographics appears to be favoring Obama. The Hispanic vote, which is growing in the state, is trending his way. The white vote is still predominantly Republican, but McCain's trouble with the base suggests he won't match the success that Bush enjoyed. And African-Americans are expected to go to the polls in record numbers.

So what does this mean in practical political terms? A Democratic friend does the math:

The big question is not if African-Americans' share of the electorate will increase, but by how much and what that will do to the share of the electorate made up by whites. The potential electorate could look as follows.
Whites: 64 percent African Americans: 31 percent Hispanics: 5 percent

Let's say McCain gets 71% of the white vote, Obama 26%, and [Third Party candidate] Bob Barr 3%, which is reasonable and perhaps a bit cautious on Obama's and Barr's shares. Then there is the Hispanic vote, which favored Bush in 2004 but nearly everyone has now given Obama roughly 2-1. Meanwhile, let's put Obama's support among African-Americans at 95%, which I think is reasonable.

The end result -- if one assumes the same number of voters that showed up four years ago (3,280,000) come to the polls next week -- would be as follows:

Obama would end up with 49.39 percent of the vote (approximately 1,610,000 votes) McCain would end up with 48.64 percent of the vote (approximately 1,590,050 votes)
This is, to be sure, the most optimistic scenario that Democrats can imagine. Matt Bocian of Democracy Corps says that in all likelihood, the African-American vote will hover somewhere between 26 and 27 percent, even with record turnout. One must consider that a portion of that group isn't of age to vote. And without an accompanying drop in McCain's support among whites, Obama could fall short of the upset.

Still, Georgia should be a state to watch on November 4th. Throughout the Democratic primary, pollsters consistently underestimated Obama's tallies in southern states, despite pegging Hillary Clinton's numbers accurately. In Georgia, for example, Obama's support jumped from 50 percent in early February to 66 percent when the vote took place, while Hillary Clinton stayed roughly at 30 percent.

In addition, the Obama campaign has done absolute yeomen's work in reaching out to and registering African-American voters. More than 400,000 newly registered voters were reported between January 1st and September 30th, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution; 164,859 of those voters are African-American, 176,570 are white.

If African-Americans can defy pollster expectations and go to the polls at a level approaching 30 percent while McCain's support among white voters hovers around 70 percent, it could portends a very close election in Georgia and, potentially, an Obama win.

Peachy sauce

I am happy to say that my sister and her husband live in GA and are voting for Obama.
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lechaco 25th-Oct-2008 07:53 am (UTC)
GOOO GEORGIA!!!!! I'm pretty sure my county is going Obama. Let's hope enough counties go Obama outside of Metro Atlanta too! :D
splendourific 25th-Oct-2008 07:59 am (UTC)
I voted in Georgia for Obama!
awesomesquared 25th-Oct-2008 10:44 am (UTC)
Holy God.

If Obama won Georgia..I think McCain's head would explode. And I would pee my pants!!!
superheroine 25th-Oct-2008 11:52 am (UTC)

It was totally Hate on Obama Day at my place of work on Thursday. I wish I could have worn my button. It would have been great.

Seriously, I think he's got a really good chance of taking Georgia, but I know my city will go McCain just from the sheer amount of bumper stickers, asshats with buttons, and signs in the yards.

Still, my friend and I were applauded by the entire Waffle House because of our Obama shirts. WE AIN'T SCURRED.
pinkcelebrities 25th-Oct-2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
Good for you! My mom went on a rampage yesterday after someone asked if she was "scared" that I had Obama stickers on my car. She was all "THIS IS AMERICA AND I WILL NOT BE AFRAID TO SUPPORT HIM OR HAVE MY DAUGHTER SUPPORT HIM! IF SOMEONE STEALS OUR YARD SIGN I WILL PUT ANOTHER ONE UP!" <3
suckmyglock 25th-Oct-2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, I think these figures are way too optimistic. It says at the start that it's "an outlier from other public opinion surveys". If no other surveys have found this how can we say it's correct? It seems like on here we're predicting every state will turn blue which can't be true. It all hangs out the African-American vote but I don't think that's something you can count on in Georgia.
bushy_brow 25th-Oct-2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
The poll might well be an outlier, but the early voting demographics seem to be bearing it out so far, or rather, showing that the poll is underestimating African-American turnout:  so far, African-Americans have comprised 35 percent of the early voters, believe it or not.  *shrug*
acidexia 25th-Oct-2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
It's true. I was an early voter and it was about half and half believe it or not.
ageispolis 25th-Oct-2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
I early voted for Obama yesterday! The line was considerably long but it was worth it.

AND HEY GEORGIANS if you have some free time go find your local Obama office and volunteer! There is nothing more rewarding than feeling like you did your part to get Obama elected!
acidexia 25th-Oct-2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
I voted for Obama in Georgia and am going to post a link to this in the community for my city. Hope it helps.
terseywersey 25th-Oct-2008 09:53 pm (UTC)

I read this in the paper this morning and I did a little happy dance. :)
loveat2am 26th-Oct-2008 03:23 am (UTC)
Now if only there was hope for Kentucky..
roseofjuly 27th-Oct-2008 02:06 am (UTC)
As a native Georgian (transplanted to New York :D) I'm really skeptical about GA going blue. It'd be nice, but I don't know. People don't realize that outside of metro-Atlanta it's red country.

But on that note, damnit! I shouldn't have switched my registration to New York!
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