2020-11-07 19:35:18 | Georgia 2020 election results: Why Democrats are optimistic

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Joe Biden has won the US election having secured a majority of  279 electoral college votes. However, ballot counting continues in several states with Mr Biden and Mr Trump facing very tight margins.  

As of Saturday, November 7, Donald Trump’s margin in Georgia has fallen, and the Democrats are ahead with more than 99 per cent of the votes counted. 

Joe Biden is just 0.2 percent ahead of Mr Trump with 49.5 per cent of the vote, but the battle for the state is looking increasingly achievable for Mr Biden, who is now winning by over 7,200 votes. A potential victory in Georgia would have left Mr Biden just one point away from the White House before his decisive win in Pennsylvania.

Georgia state officials have indicated that a recount is likely due to the narrow margin between Mr Trump and Mr Biden. A recount can be requested by a candidate if the margin is under 0.5 per cent of votes cast according to Georgia state law.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said: “Right now Georgia remains too close to call. Out of approximately 5 million votes cast we’ll have a margin of a few thousand. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia.”

A formal recount will be likely to take place in late November.

Fulton County, the state’s largest and home to Atlanta, is tipping the state. Donald Trump was previously leading; however, with 99 per cent of the votes declared, Joe Biden is predicated to reclaim this Democratic stronghold, with a margin of over 57,500 votes. 

Fulton County elections director Richard Barron told CNN they were “close to being done”, and that factoring in provisional ballots – including the overseas and military votes – meant that the county’s overall count of unknown ballots was nearly 5,000.

The county of Clayton is also responsible for the Democrats recent advantage. While several counties in Georgia sent election workers home overnight, counters in Clayton worked through until the morning and led Mr Biden to success. 

Mr Biden’s lead continues to gradually increase, after another batch of results from Clayton County. Clayton already had deep blue history and pushed Biden’s advantage to 1,584 votes over Mr Trump. 

The typically blue-leaning county of Gwinnett is expected to announce their results anytime within the next few hours. Predictions suggest Gwinnett will remain blue, and therefore, emphasise Biden’s lead in the state even further. 

Gabriel Sterling, an election official, said it would “take time” to process tens of thousands of remaining ballots.  Up to 8,000 overseas ballots could still arrive from Service Members. 

Mr Biden is performing better than Hillary Clinton did in 2016, including in their more upscale suburban areas.

Early on Wednesday, Mr Trump prematurely claimed he carried Georgia – and several other states that were too early to call.

“It’s … clear that we have won Georgia. We’re up by 2.5 per cent, or 117,000 (votes) with only seven per cent (of the vote) left” to count, Mr Trump said during an early morning appearance at the White House.

On November 4, the Trump campaign and the Georgia Republican Party lodged the complaint against the Chatham County Board of Election in an attempt to halt voting.

It was alleged by Sean Pumphrey, a Republican poll observer, that he had witnessed 53 late unprocessed absentee ballots being illegally added to a pile of processed absentee ballots due to be tabulated in Chatham County.

Ballots must be received by 7pm on election day to count according to state law.

The Trump campaign argued: “Failing to ensure that absentee ballots received after the deadline are stored in a manner to ensure that such ballots are not inadvertently or intentionally counted, as required under Georgia law, harms the interests of the Trump Campaign and President Trump because it could lead to the dilution of legal votes cast in support of President Trump.” 

Although this was alleged, no evidence provided by Mr Pumphrey of misconduct.

Mr Pumphrey also admitted he did not know if the unprocessed ballots arrived late after 7pm on Election Day.

Sabrina German, the director of Chatham County’s Voter Registration Office, backed up the board witness’s testimony that said that the votes were received on time.

On Thursday November 5, the case was dismissed by Judge James Base with giving an explanation for his decision in the one hour long hearing. 

Mr Biden, on Wednesday 4, spoke on the election results and told the crowd: “We’re still in the game in Georgia, although that’s not one we expected.”

What’s going on in Georgia’s senate race?

The contest for the remaining United States Senate seats in Georgia is shaping up to be the next big battle between the Democrats and Republicans, and is hugely significant for the rest of the country.

Both parties have won 48 seats so far, but with 51 needed for a majority, winning in Georgia will prove crucial to taking control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Georgia’s current Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock have advanced to a January 5 runoff in the special election for Ms Loeffler’s Senate seat.

They’re the top two finishers in a crowded field that also included Republican Rep. Doug Collins. But no candidate was able to get the 50 per cent threshold needed in order to win outright.

Ms Loeffler, 49, is a wealthy businesswoman who received 26 per cent of the vote in the first round, and was appointed last year to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson.

The candidate recently tweeted in support of Mr Trump’s calls to “count every legal vote”, and pledged to bring in a bill that would “increase penalties for those who attempt to interfere with the will of the American people.”

Mr Warnock, 51, received 36 per cent and is trying to become Georgia’s first Black US senator. The Reverend is pastor of the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr preached. 

Another Senate race in Georgia between incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff now appears to be headed for a run-off on January 5 too. 

With Senator Perdue on 48.9 per cent and Mr Ossoff on 47.9 per cent, neither have reached the required 50 per cent threshold at present with 98 per cent of the vote counted.

Senator Perdue, 70, is also a businessman and was appointed back in 2014. 

Mr Ossoff, 33, is a former investigative journalist who has been a driving force in the Democrats attempts to turn the state blue, along with voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.

Both Senate runoffs would be crucial for the Democrats who could regain control of the Senate if they won both races.

In this scenario the vice-president would serve as the tie-breaker in a Senate with a 50-50 split .

When will we know who has won the US election?

Demographic changes

Georgia is not obvious Biden country. This is the Deep South. No Democrat has taken the state in a presidential election since Bill Clinton 28 years ago. 

Georgia joined the Confederacy when it split from the Union. It is deeply religious and deeply conservative. For decades it has been redder than red.

But now the cracks are showing. Polls had Mr Biden and Donald Trump neck-and-neck in the state, but Biden has, this morning, gained the advantage. 

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