Long expected to transform into a swing state, Georgia may finally have its moment in the sun.
What’s at stake
It would be extremely difficult for Donald Trump to win the presidency without holding on to Georgia, a state that has not voted Democratic since it backed Bill Clinton in 1992.
Its 16 electoral votes would take a nasty chunk out of his map in a year where he is fighting for his political life on multiple fronts, including many arenas that are normally much more competitive than the Peach State.
Last time around
This state of affairs is a major advance on where Democrats were just a few years ago. Like Texas and Arizona, Georgia has been supposedly on the verge of turning blue for years now. Yet Hillary Clinton lost it by just over five points, improving on Barack Obama’s performance in 2012 but only matching his figure from 2008.
Read more: Should you trust the polls in 2020?
On the ground
Like many other states, especially in the South, Georgia has seen Republican state leaders take aggressive steps to make it harder for many people to register to vote. The 2018 governor’s race, which saw Democrat Stacy Abrams lose by a hair to Republican Brian Kemp, was marred by revelations that the state had purged hundreds of thousands of people from voter rolls and imposed other measures that disproportionately affected Black Georgians.
Read more: The Electoral College, explained
The home stretch
The Biden campaign has only grown more determined to make inroads in Georgia, and the candidate has appeared there in person lately as he tries to shore up the tentative lead he’s taken in numerous polls.
The presidency aside, Georgia has two other headline elections underway: both its Senate seats are up for grabs on Tuesday. One of the two Republican incumbents, David Perdue, facing a tough challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff; the other, Kelly Loeffler, is fighting off an intraparty challenge from congressman Doug Collins, as well as Democrats Raphael Warnock and Matt Lieberman.
That second contest is being fought using a runoff system, meaning that if no candidate gets 50 per cent of the vote the top two will fight it out in a final round. As things stand, polls put Warnock top of the crowded field, and indicate he could edge out either Republican in a second round.