In The News: Fifth Democratic Debate Proves Georgia Is The Battleground for 2020

November 22, 2019

ATLANTA – This week, as the eyes of the nation were on Georgia for the fifth presidential debate, Georgia Democrats proved that Georgia is the battleground state for 2020.  

See below for more coverage from the week: 

AJC: Georgia Democrats ready for ‘especially special’ Atlanta debate 

By Greg Bluestein 

Local Democrats are trying to seize the moment, too, presenting Georgia as a battleground state worthy of a torrent of new investment. State Sen. Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, carried that message to a whirl of events.

“It shows that we are being recognized by the national party as a battleground state, a true battleground state,” she said. “And that’s exactly what we’ve been saying all along, is that the path to the White House is paved right here through Georgia.”

AP: Georgia at ‘turning point’? Debate signals Democratic hopes

By Bill Barrow 

Indeed, growth and urbanization over recent decades has made Georgia’s population younger, less native to the state and less white. That, combined with President Donald Trump’s struggles among previously GOP-leaning white college graduates, has put Georgia on the cusp of presidential battleground status.

The question is how close.

“The road to the White House runs through Georgia,” Democratic state Chairwoman Nikema Williams said matter-of-factly.

The New Yorker: The 2020 Democrats converge on Atlanta, signalling Georgia’s political importance

By Jelani Cobb 

Last year, Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, ran for governor and became the first black female Democratic nominee for that office in the state’s history. She also came within two percentage points of winning the election, in a state that had been written off as a Republican stronghold since the nineteen-nineties. “Last year’s election: it was absolutely critical,” Williams told me. “What we saw was that, for the first time, people actually paid attention and made financial investments so we could reach our voters. What we took from the 2018 election was that, when you have those early investments on the ground, having conversations one-on-one with voters on the ground, it makes a difference. We know that, had it not been for all the voter suppression tactics, Stacey Abrams would be the governor of Georgia right now.”

The Root: Democratic Debate: Democrats can win Stacey Abrams’ Georgia if they really want it 

By Terrell Starr

“I’m looking towards the 2020 election, but we did not stop what we did in Georgia in 2018,” [DPG Chair] Williams said. “We’re only building up on the energy and everything that Stacey Abrams built in the state and we continued that energy into 2019. We didn’t take 2019 as an off-year-election. We continue to build upon that and pick up municipal races along the way. So as we conclude the 2019 election cycle, we’re looking towards 2020 and how we can engage our constituency groups and Georgia Democrats across the state, so we can move into 2020 turn Georgia a bright blue.”

Georgia Recorder: Bookman: Velocity of Georgia’s swing from red to blue is stunning

By Jay Bookman

Like their Republican counterparts, Democratic Party officials see a real chance that Georgia’s 16 electoral votes will end up in their column next year, and if that’s realistic then it is also realistic to hope that Democrats can also be competitive in two U.S. Senate races here in Georgia, which will be crucial in deciding control of the Senate.

USA Today: Is Georgia a swing state? Democrats think so, and some trends are on their side 

By Nicquel Terry Ellis 

“I can’t think of a better place to showcase the Democratic field in one of the most diverse cities in this critical battleground state,” [DNC Chair] Perez said in a statement provided to USA TODAY….

Georgia’s expanding liberal base and the fast-growing black population of metropolitan Atlanta have already flipped some Republican-held House districts near the city and are positive trends for Democrats, political experts say.

Georgia Public Broadcasting: What the site of the Democratic debate says about Georgia, role of black voters

By Stephen Fowler 

The decision to stage the debate at Tyler Perry Studios is a sign of the political and economic power of Georgia’s growing film industry, an implicit acknowledgment of the space that black voters occupy in the primary electorate and a nod to the state’s potential battleground status in 2020.

WABE: State Sen. Nikema Williams: Georgia a game changer in 2020 elections

By Lisa Rayam 

State Sen. Nikema Williams calls Georgia a game changer in the 2020 elections.

She’s counting on the candidates to talk about real issues that affect everyday Americans, such as the state’s abortion ban. Williams hopes that conversation will be front and center.


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