Georgia Has Been Blue for a Long Time

And now, finally, the longtime dreams of so many have been realized

Will Leitch
GEN
Published in
5 min readJan 6, 2021

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Reverend Raphael Warnock speaks at a canvassing event in Marietta, Georgia. Photo:
Sandy Huffaker /Getty Images

I moved to Athens, Georgia from New York City in 2013 and found myself, much to my own surprise, eager to get involved in local politics. It was hard not to. I’d never lived in a red state before — though I’d certainly grown up in the red area of a blue state—but the possibility of Georgia seemed limitless. There was radically shifting demographics, a growing locus of Black power and influence in Atlanta and its surrounding areas, and an increasing number of media and entertainment professionals, people like me, looking to build our careers outside the traditional hubs of New York and California in a place with great schools, reasonably priced real estate, a diverse and vibrant community and, yeah, lovely weather just about the whole year round. It felt like the Old South—the Georgia of Stone Mountain, of systemic voter suppression, of good ole boys making campaign advertisements featuring pointing shotguns at people—was receding and a new vanguard, a new Georgia, was being ushered in. It was thrilling. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

But there was setback after setback, from Jason Carter (Jimmy’s grandson) getting smoked in his race for governor in 2014 to Michelle Nunn’s (Sam’s daughter) loss to David Perdue for the Senate that same year to Jon Ossoff’s high-profile congressional run (and loss) in 2017 to, the worst cut of all, Stacey Abrams’ razor-thin, highly controversial loss to Brian Kemp for the governorship in 2018. (And those are just the ones I was here for.) There were longtime activists here who thought they’d never get there. There was a great quote from a Republican political consultant in Georgia that laid it out clearly: “Until Democrats win a statewide election, we’re not a purple state. We may be a purpling state. But until they win, this is a red state.” That sentiment was shared widely among people who had been invested in this a lot longer than I have. None of this mattered until we got the big win.

On Tuesday night, Georgia got the big win.

The ramifications of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff being elected to the United States Senate have staggering ramifications for the next four years—and likely the next few decades—of American life. They…

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Will Leitch
GEN
Writer for

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com