Sunday, February 7, 2021

Georgia, North Carolina, and the Illusion of "Turning Blue"

The Asheville Citizen Times is kind enough to give me some space every now and again to write about politics. This piece is about the similarities and differences between Georgia and North Carolina (TLDR? Their outcomes were almost identical, despite the fact that one "turned blue" and the other "stayed red.") I thought it might be of interest to readers of this blog. Please click through to read the whole piece and, if you're not already a subscriber, please consider a subscription to the Citizen Times.

By Chris Cooper

On Nov. 4, 2020, the eye of the constantly moving political storm shifted to the 59,425 square miles that make up the state of Georgia. Not only did Georgia surprise political observers by giving its 16 electors to Joe Biden on Nov. 3, but thanks to quirky runoff rules, and a nationally competitive environment, majority control of the U.S. Senate was ultimately determined by voters in the Peach State. 

Georgia was generally considered a “second tier swing state” prior to the election, as opposed to North Carolina, which was generally considered one of the states most likely to swing.  After the votes were counted, a series of articles soon appeared attempting to explain why Georgia “flipped blue” and North Carolina “stayed red.”

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Chris Cooper is Madison Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University. He tweets at @chriscooperwcu