• Schuyler Beltrami

2022 Midterms Preview – Georgia


Downtown Atlanta (Photo: Pixabay)

The Millennial Agora continues our complete preview of the upcoming midterm elections for Congress with the state of Georgia. A state of more than 10 million people, Georgia is a rapidly-growing state in the southeastern United States. Politically, the state, like all of its neighbors in the Deep South, had been a reliably Republican state for decades. However, the state took a surprisingly quick turn to the left in 2020, not only voting for President Biden by less than 1%, but also electing two Democratic Senators, whose election victories gave control of the Senate to the Democrats. The majority of the state’s population lives in and near the sprawling Atlanta metropolitan area, home to the United States’ busiest airport. The inner city and southern suburbs of Atlanta are deeply blue, with the northern suburbs being split mostly among racial lines, with African American voters voting Democratic and white suburban voters still leaning somewhat favorably for Republicans. Meanwhile, the rural areas outside of Atlanta remain largely conservative. In 2022, there will be elections in Georgia for the House of Representatives, Senate, and Governor. Currently, the state’s delegation in the House is split 8-6 in favor of the Republicans. Georgia was not awarded any new seats after the 2020 Census, but most districts were redrawn.


House of Representatives

Georgia receives 14 seats in the House of Representatives and all seats will be up for election in November. The overall CVPI for the entire state is R+3, making Georgia’s House races (taken as a whole) to be categorized as toss-ups, but the state does lean slightly to the right, especially in the areas outside of the Atlanta metro area. (The CPVI, or Cook Partisan Voting Index, is the main metric to measure the strength of a political party for a particular House district or Senate seat. The measure was created and managed by the non-partisan Cook Political Report and uses historical data, as well as polling, to create the “partisan lean” of each district or state. A CPVI rating of R+15 would mean that on average, Republican candidates win elections in that district or state by an average of 15%, while a rating of D+15 would mean the same thing, but for the Democratic candidate. A district or state with a CPVI with double digits is considered to be non-competitive).


I. GA-01:

A. Current Representative: Buddy Carter (R)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Rural, Some Urban

C. Demographics: 58% White, 30% African American, 8% Hispanic Asian

D. Cook PVI: R+9 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: Georgia’s first district includes the entirety of the southeastern corner of the state, including the city of Savannah, the Atlantic Coast and the state’s border with Florida. Incumbent Rep. Buddy Carter has represented the district since 2014 and earned a strong showing in a primary (nearly twice as many votes as Democratic candidates) which was still held, despite running unopposed. He holds a lead of around 23% in aggregate polling data.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


II. GA-02:

A. Current Representative: Sanford Bishop (D)

B. Population Distribution: Largely Rural, Some Smaller Urban Areas

C. Demographics: 51% African American, 40% White, 6% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+3 (Toss-up)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 2nd District includes the southwestern part of the state, including the cities of Macon and Columbus, as well as the state’s borders with Florida and Alabama. This minority-majority district was largely kept the same after redistricting and in 2020, Rep. Bishop won the seat by 18%, vastly outperforming Senate and Presidential candidates in the same district. He holds a growing lead of around 12% in aggregate polling data and is the favorite to win this race, despite being the subject of a current investigation by the House Ethics Committee for misappropriating funds and Republican candidates earning around 3,000 more votes in the state’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


III. GA-03:

A. Current Representative: Drew Ferguson (R)

B. Population Distribution: Largely Rural, Some Exurban

C. Demographics: 64% White, 25% African American, 6% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+18 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 3rd District includes the western central part of state as well as some exurban areas in the Atlanta metro area and borders Alabama. Incumbent Rep. Ferguson has represented the district since 2016 and Republican candidates earned around four times as many votes as Democratic candidates in this deep red district.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


IV. GA-04:

A. Current Representative: Hank Johnson (D)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Urban and Suburban

C. Demographics: 55% African American, 26% White, 12% Hispanic, 7% Asian

D. Cook PVI: D+27 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 4th District is one of the deeply, deeply blue districts in the Atlanta metro area. This district includes much of DeKalb County including the suburb of Decatur. Incumbent Rep. Johnson has represented the district since 2006 and was reelected with over 80% of the vote in 2020. He holds a lead of nearly 50% in the aggregate polling data in this minority-majority district.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


V. GA-05:

A. Current Representative: Nikema Williams (D)

B. Population Distribution: Urban

C. Demographics: 51% African American, 36% White, 7% Hispanic, 5% Asian

D. Cook PVI: D+32 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 5th District includes the entirety of downtown Atlanta and is the most Democratic district in the state. Incumbent Rep. Williams has represented the district since 2020 and won with over 85% of the vote in her inaugural election.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


VI. GA-06:

A. Current Representative: Lucy McBath (D)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Suburban, Some Rural

C. Demographics: 64% White, 14% Asian, 10% Hispanic, 10% African American

D. Cook PVI: R+11 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 6th District has been heavily redrawn to include the northern suburbs of Atlanta and rural areas outside of the metro area. Incumbent Rep. McBath is not running for reelection in the district, as the new district is heavily favored for Republicans. The favorite for the race is Republican nominee Rich McCormick, a doctor and nominee for Congress in 2020. Republican candidates earned around four times more votes than Democratic candidates in the district’s closed primaries. A victory for Mr. McCormick would represent the first flip in the state.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (GAIN)


VII. GA-07:

A. Current Representative: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D)

B. Population Distribution: Suburban and many Exurban and Rural Areas

C. Demographics: 31% African American, 29% White, 24% Hispanic, 16% Asian

D. Cook PVI: D+10 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 7th District includes many of the suburban areas in Gwinnett County east of the Atlanta downtown area. Incumbent Rep. Bourdeaux, who managed the flip the district for the Democrats in 2020, lost in the primary to current Rep. Lucy McBath who changed her district from the 6th to the 7th. She will be running against Republican nominee Mark Gonsalves, a local businessman. Democratic candidates only received around 8,000 more votes than Republican candidates in the district’s closed primaries, but the redrawn district heavily favors Democrats and Rep. McBath has a growing lead of around 18% in the aggregate polling data and most media outlets categorize this race as safely Democratic.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


VIII. GA-08:

A. Current Representative: Austin Scott (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural

C. Demographics: 58% White, 32% African American, 7% Asian

D. Cook PVI: R+16 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 8th District consists of the southern, central part of the state on the state’s border with Florida and includes the cities of Valdosta and Warner Robins. Incumbent Rep. Scott has represented this very rural district since 2010 and received around three times more votes than his Democratic challenger in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


IX. GA-09:

A. Current Representative: Andrew Clyde (R)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Rural, Some Suburban Areas

C. Demographics: 65% White, 15% Hispanic, 11% African American, 7% Asian

D. Cook PVI: R+22 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 9th is tied for the most conservative district in the state and includes the northeastern corner of the state, on the border with both Carolinas as well as Tennessee. Incumbent Rep. Clyde has represented the district since 2020 and was elected with nearly 80% of the vote in his first election.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


X. GA-10:

A. Current Representative: Jody Hice (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural, Some Urban

C. Demographics: 64% White, 24% African American, 8% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+15 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 10th District includes the northern central part of the state on the border with South Carolina, as well as the university town of Athens. Incumbent Rep. Hice is not running for reelection in the district, instead running to become the Secretary of State of Georgia. The favorite to take her spot in the House is Republican nominee Mike Collins, an executive at a trucking company and a son of former member of the House. Mr. Collins won a close primary battle over Vernon Jones, who secured an endorsement from former President Donald Trump but was not able to get through the runoff. Republican candidates earned around four times as many votes in the district’s closed primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


XI. GA-11:

A. Current Representative: Barry Loudermilk (R)

B. Population Distribution: Largely Suburban and Urban, Some Rural

C. Demographics: 61% White, 19% African American, 13% Hispanic, 5% Asian

D. Cook PVI: R+11 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 11th District includes many of the suburbs in northwestern Atlanta, one of the few areas of strong Republican support in metro Atlanta. Incumbent Rep. Loudermilk has represented the district since 2014. Despite running unopposed in the primary, he still received around three times more votes than the Democratic candidates.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


XII. GA-12:

A. Current Representative: Rick Allen (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural

C. Demographics: 51% White, 39% African American, 6% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+8 (Leans Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 12th District includes the central, eastern part of the state on the border with South Carolina. An overwhelmingly rural district with the sole urban area being around the town of Augusta, the district was made slightly more competitive due to redistricting, but in a year where Republicans are bound to make gains, it would take quite a reversal of fortunes for them to lose this rural Southern seat. Incumbent Rep. Allen has represented the seat since 2014 and received around twice as many votes as Democratic candidates in the primaries.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


XIII. GA-13:

A. Current Representative: David Scott (D)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Urban and Suburban

C. Demographics: 68% African American, 16% White, 12% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: D+28 (Strong Democratic)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 13th District includes the southern suburbs of Atlanta, an area of strong Democratic support. Incumbent Rep. Scott has represented the district since 2002 and was reelected in 2020 with nearly 80% of the vote.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


XIV. GA-14:

A. Current Representative: Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R)

B. Population Distribution: Mostly Rural, Some Urban and Suburban

C. Demographics: 68% White, 16% African American, 13% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+22 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: The Georgia 14th District includes the northwestern corner of the state, bordering Tennessee and Alabama and including the city of Rome. Controversial incumbent Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene has represented the district since 2020. She was only allowed to run for reelection after winning a protracted legal case which sought to remove her from running due to her role in the January 6th insurrection. Republican candidates received around four times as many votes in the district’s closed primaries as Democratic candidates.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Senate

Georgia, like all states, has two seats in the Senate, one of which will be up for election this year. Incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock is seeking his first full term in Senate after winning a special election in 2020. He is running against Republican nominee Herschel Walker, a candidate hand-picked by former President Trump, who was a Heisman Trophy-winning college football running back at the University of Georgia and is seeking his first Congressional position. This is the first Senate race in Georgia history where the nominees from both parties are African American. Sen. Warnock won his special election in 2021 by 2%, slightly outperforming President Biden in the state. Before entering Congress, Sen. Warnock was the senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was lead pastor. Similar to President Biden, Sen. Warnock depended on a large turnout amongst African American voters in the metro Atlanta area to secure victory, something which he needs this time as well. For months questions have swirled around the electability of Mr. Walker who has had numerous controversies during his campaign, including the question of how many children he may have while he has campaigned on traditional family values. Although Mr. Walker held a lead in polling at the beginning of the summer (nearly 2%), Sen. Warnock now holds a lead of just over 1%. A majority of independent polls have shown Sen. Warnock with a lead between 1 and 4%. Although turnout will be an important factor, so too will be the national mood towards the Democratic Party. If the Democrats can keep up the momentum they have held since the end of July, then Sen. Warnock should secure enough votes to hold on to his seat in this deeply divided state, however the possibility of a Republican flip is never too far off.

Millennial Agora Prediction: Democratic Victory (HOLD)


Governor

Finally, the final election in Georgia is the race of Governor. Current incumbent Republican Brian Kemp is seeking his second term as Governor of Georgia. Gov. Kemp faced a primary challenge from former Senator David Perdue but was able to win the primary easily by a margin of more than 50%. His opponent in this race is Stacey Abrams, a fixture of Georgia Democratic politics and Democratic nominee for Governor in 2018. Although Ms. Abrams has been able to be highly influential in local politics, with some single-handedly crediting her for flipping Georgia for the Democrats in 2020, she has been less popular in statewide elections. Despite the highly divided nature of Georgia politics, Gov. Kemp has an aggregate polling lead of around 6% with most media outlets considering this race to lean Republican. In a year where Republicans are expected to make gains, a deficit of 6% would be extremely difficult to overcome for even the best Democratic candidate.

Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Analysis

The Millennial Agora is predicting that the House races in Georgia will lead to one gain for the Republican Party. Furthermore, we are predicting that the Senate seat will remain Democratic, while the governorship will remain in Republican control.


Thank you for reading our preview of the midterm elections in Georgia. Check back tomorrow as we preview Hawaii, a very blue state with two seats in the House.



The state of the House after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com

The state of the Senate after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com (States in light grey have no Senate seats up for election this year)

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