Representative Nikema Williams, the state Democratic Party chairwoman who was sworn into Congress this week, said Mr. Biden’s victory gave Democrats, particularly Black voters, confidence that they could win competitive races. Early voting showed that turnout among Black voters increased from November, a notable shift from the drop-off that is typical in runoff races.

“This election was not about Donald Trump,” Ms. Williams said. “This was about people on the ground realizing that if they show up en masse they can overcome the voter suppression and we can win Georgia.”

Regardless of how much influence Mr. Trump continues to command after he leaves office, it’s clear that politics in Georgia have fundamentally changed in ways that will force both parties to shift their strategies.

Andra Gillespie, an associate professor of political science in Atlanta, said that the Democratic showings on Tuesday portend a future of “close outcomes and split victories, where Republicans win some statewide contests and Democrats win some statewide contests.”

Republicans, she said, will have to adjust to the reality of running in a competitive environment. From now on, she said, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for Republicans to expect to double-digit wins in statewide races, the way that Saxby Chambliss, the U.S. senator, did in his 2008 runoff against the Democrat Jim Martin.

Demographic change goes a long way in explaining the transformation of Georgia politics. White residents, by some estimates, could cease to be the majority in the state by around 2028. Ms. Gillespie noted that the Democratic Party has built a strategy to take advantage of that change and expand its electorate.

“The Democratic Party has turned latent voters into registered voters, and then into actual voters,” she said.

Source link