Presidential Politics And Election Returns
Last Updated July 9, 2003
For many years Georgia seemed to vote against General Sherman, shunning Republican presidential candidates even when states less ravaged by Sherman's troops, like next-door South Carolina and Alabama, embraced them. It was the second most Democratic state for John Kennedy in 1960, voted for opponents of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Barry Goldwater in 1964 and George Wallace in 1968, delivered big margins for Jimmy Carter in both 1976 and 1980 and voted heavily Republican only in 1972, 1984 and 1988. A residual anti-Sherman vote in rural Georgia can perhaps explain why Bill Clinton carried the state outside metro Atlanta in 1992 and lost it by only 2% in 1996. But no more. George W. Bush carried Georgia 55%-43% in 2000, and won outside metro Atlanta by 57%-41%. This poses a serious problem for Democratic strategists: A candidate who can't run better than Al Gore in the rural South is going to have a hard time carrying Georgia's 15 electoral votes.
Georgia's 1992 presidential primary was scheduled one week before Super Tuesday at the insistence of Governor Zell Miller, who wanted to help Bill Clinton, and did: Clinton won smartly to balance losses in Maryland and Colorado the same day. George Bush's 64%-36% victory here over Pat Buchanan showed the Buchanan brigades were not about to overrun the South. Since then, Georgia's primary has been of little consequence, except as a measure of its Republican presidential trend since voters are free to mark the ballot for either party. In 1988, when both parties had contests, 622,000 voted Democratic and 400,000 voted Republican; in 1992, 454,631 voted Democratic and 453,990 voted Republican; in 2000, 284,000 voted Democratic and 643,000 Republican.
|2000 Presidential Vote|
|2000 Republican Primary|
|2000 Democratic Primary|
|1996 Presidential Vote|
For 1992 and 1996 presidential results in Georgia, please see the Almanac 2000 online.
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