Atlanta Journal-Constitution, A blue ‘tsunami’ in Atlanta’s suburbs reshapes Georgia politics:
The Georgia election may still have an uncertain end for its marquee matchup, but the results cemented the state’s status as a battleground for the 2020 race for president. And the metro Atlanta suburbs are poised to be the main battlefield.
Democrats painted the dense suburbs ringing Atlanta a bright shade of blue, capturing a swath of territory that just four years ago overwhelmingly tilted to the GOP. Republicans lost about a dozen state legislative seats and one of the shiniest jewels of the ‘burbs — the U.S. House seat held by Karen Handel.
Led by Stacey Abrams, Democrats carried a sweep of precincts that had transformed from unassailable to vulnerable since Donald Trump’s election as president. They helped boost her to nearly 49 percent of the electorate — and give her a slim chance at forcing a runoff with more votes still to be counted.
The party’s blue streak carved through parts of Acworth and Kennesaw, dominated sections of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody and moved up the spine of Ga. 400 to Roswell and Alpharetta, then tore across most of Gwinnett County. And it extended west and south, putting Douglas and Henry counties firmly in the Democratic column.
The GOP’s Brian Kemp may still be poised to win the race for governor despite the suburban struggles, thanks to a rural-focused strategy that netted him overwhelming margins in the state’s agricultural heartland.
But nervous Republicans acknowledge they can’t win future statewide contests by tanking in the fast-growing suburbs, where Trump’s middling approval ratings and a more diverse electorate is reshaping political debate.
“We have to figure it out. The divide between metro Atlanta and the rest of the state got a lot wider this election,” said Republican state Rep. Buzz Brockway, whose Lawrenceville-based House seat flipped.
“Metro Atlanta is booming. Parts of South Georgia are not,” Brockway said. “It’s not sustainable for the Republican Party to rely mostly on rural voters.”
I Feel Buzz Brockway’s Pain
So, in the spirit of kindness, let me offer him just a few suggestions to help him “figure it out.” I realize this is a challenge for you. But I honestly think that if you try hard, you might improve your party’s performance. So here are my suggestions: