Georgia 4th District
In 1920, when Gutzom Borglum began sculpting Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson into the side of Stone Mountain, the huge outcropping of granite—the largest single piece of sculpture in the world—was a day’s drive into the country from central Atlanta and was soon to become a rallying point for the Ku Klux Klan. Even when the memorial was completed in 1972, suburban development barely reached this far. But today, after three decades of some of the most explosive metropolitan growth in the country, DeKalb County is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, and this monument to the Confederacy sits among one of the most cosmopolitan and liberal constituencies in the South.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
In north DeKalb County are affluent suburbs, including much of Atlanta’s Jewish community, with voting habits much more liberal than in other suburbs. South DeKalb County has been transformed from mostly rural territory in the 1970s into one of the nation’s largest collections of affluent African-American neighborhoods, rivaled only by Prince George’s County in Maryland. The county was a prime destination for evacuees from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. DeKalb’s population grew by 22% in the 1990s, and by 9% from 2000 to 2007. The demographic changes have moved its politics well to the left. It was a Republican county when rural Georgia was almost all Democratic in the 1960s. Now it is the most heavily Democratic major county in Georgia. In 2004, DeKalb voted 73%-27% for Democrat John Kerry, his best percentage in the state, except for one tiny rural county. In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama won DeKalb, 79%-20%.
The 4th Congressional District of Georgia consists of more than two-thirds of DeKalb County, a corner of the more Republican Gwinnett County and much of Rockdale County, including Conyers. In 2008, Rockdale elected its first black County Commission chairman. About 75% of the population of the district now is in DeKalb. The 4th and the next-door 5th District, both with African-American majorities, are the most Democratic in Georgia.