Joe Biden has been declared the presumptive winner in Georgia in a shocking change of the Peachtree State’s political heart, according to NBC, ABC, and CNN. The state is conducting a hand recount due to the tight result but, with Biden up by at least 14,000, multiple networks called the race on Friday. The victory brings Biden’s electoral college tally to 306—the same as Donald Trump’s winning 2016 tally. Multiple networks also called Trump the presumptive winner in North Carolina on Friday, bringing his tally to 232.
Georgia has gone for a Republican presidential candidate in every election since 1996, when voters chose Bob Dole over incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton. Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature, and Gov. Brian Kemp is a staunch Trump ally. The president won the state by five percentage points over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, but polls leading up to the election showed him neck-and-neck with Biden.
In the end, he was done in by a few factors. Suburban Georgians soured on Trump, the state’s population is diversifying, meaning more Democratic voters are moving there, and even his support among white voters with college degrees dimmed since 2016. Democrats have long dreamed of turning the state blue, and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams narrowly lost to Kemp in 2018. Although Trump took an early lead in the counting after Election Day, Biden surged ahead as votes from metro areas were tabulated.