Dems' hope of Ga. swing fades as Trump takes state

WXIA Breaking News

ATLANTA -- Questions of whether Georgia would be a swing state in the presidential election have been answered.

In the late evening hours - even after Florida - the Associated Press called Georgia for Trump after a fairly close race throughout the night.

11Alive’s Blayne Alexander looked into the question at a Democratic watch party where attendees hoped a new poll is a sign that the state could be up for grabs.

For hours, analysts said the state was still too close to call though as the night went on, a clear winner began to place more and more votes in Trump's corner.

 

The watch party kicked off at 7 p.m. and had a number of big names to come through including Democratic Senate candidate Jim Barksdale, Mayor Kasim Reed and a number of Georgia congressmen including Hank Johnson.

Perhaps a sign that the state wasn't planning to change affiliation was the overwhelming win for incumbent Senator Johnny Isakson over Barksdale.

To the dismay of Barksdale supporters, his first appearance was also his last at the Hyatt watch party in downtown Atlanta as he delivered his concession speech.

David Perdue posed the question directly to supporters after the Isakson victory, asking: "Is Georgia a purple state?"

The response was a resounding "No".

While it took several hours to come to a final conclusion, the announcement of Trump as president seems to show that that answer was right. With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Georgia was called for Donald Trump - at the time carrying the state with 53 percent of the vote to Clinton's 44 percent.

However, Kasim Reed said he was still sure that the national final numbers would go in favor of Hillary Clinton with major states still up for grabs. He added that the party never expected this to be an easy victory nationwide.

In previous elections, Georgia had not been of major national interest as a potential swing state. But pre-election polling changed that. For the first time in a number of years, Georgia was expected to be in play for a Democratic takeover in the national election.

An exclusive 11Alive poll showed that Donald Trump (49 percent) had a 7-point lead over Hillary Clinton (42 percent) with Gary Johnson (3 percent) trailing and 6 percent undecided.

That poll data was released on Oct. 31.

But just 5 days later, NBC news came out with a separate poll of its own showing that the two were virtually tied with Trump (45 percent) only leading Clinton (44 percent) by about 1 percentage point.

And that is something that the state’s Democratic Party has been watching very closely after many “Get Out the Vote” pushes from within the party.

From Ebenezer Baptist Church to celebrities, there have been several campaigning to get African American voters – 29 percent of the electorate – out to the polls.

It’s a percentage with similarities around the country that Clinton campaigners hope will be what pushes their candidate over her opponent to win the presidency.

At this point, everything is up in the air – but in the coming hours, that will change.

As one voter put it: “This is finally the day that we stopped guessing.”

For up-to-date election coverage and results, head over to: on.11alive.com/elections

 

(© 2017 WXIA)


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