It has been 10 long days since the polls closed in Georgia at 7 p.m. on November 3. While President Donald Trump held on to an early lead in the state through most of Tuesday night and on into Wednesday morning, as more and more ballots were counted in largely blue metro Atlanta and Savannah, that lead was slowly chipped away. Once Wisconsin and Michigan were called for former Vice President Joe Biden, even more heads spun to look at the razor-thin margin in Georgia—as well as the close margins in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
Since 1972—nearly 50 years ago—Georgia has only gone blue three times: In 1976 and 1980, the state voted for our own Jimmy Carter, and in 1992, Georgia picked Bill Clinton for the presidency. Otherwise, it has been a steady red vote. The thought of both presidential candidates campaigning in person in Georgia just days before the election, as both Biden and Trump did, would have been preposterous even a few years ago, much less the thought that the fate of an entire presidential election would rest so heavily on Georgia. Suddenly, the rest of the country began to feel how Fulton County residents feel every single election, restless and waiting. Then, in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, November 6, absentee ballots counted in Clayton County—the bluest in the state and part of John Lewis’s 5th District that Trump famously criticized a few years ago—officially turned the tide. Since then, as provisional, oversees, and military ballots were counted, Biden’s lead has jumped up to more than 14,000 votes. Biden clinched the presidency when Pennsylvania was called on Saturday, and today, ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, and other news outlets projected Biden as the winner in Georgia.
To give you an idea of how long it’s been since Georgia was a blue state, on November 3, 1992, when Bill Clinton won the presidential election, rapper 21 Savage was a week and half old. (Cardi B was only two and a half weeks old.) Cartoon Network had just celebrated its one-month anniversary. The Georgia Dome had been open for two months. TLC’s “What About Your Friends” was sitting at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the same fall the Braves lost the World Series. Whitney Houston’s The Bodyguard was released just a few weeks after the election.
The hand recount of the presidential race in Georgia is ongoing, but the Secretary of State’s office has said it is unlikely to change the results. So now, all attention goes to Georgia’s double runoff on January 5 that will determine control of the Senate, when incumbent Republicans Senator Kelly Loeffler and Senator David Perdue will face Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff respectively. Already, Senator Marco Rubio visited the state this week for a Republican rally, and Vice President Mike Pence has plans to visit next week. The amount of national attention—and campaign money—pouring in will be enormous.
If you weren’t registered to vote in the general election, you can still register to vote in the runoff until December 5. You can request an absentee ballot here. And maybe stock up on a few extra bottles of wine, a new fuzzy blanket, or whatever else helps you relax—it’s gonna be a wild couple of months.