OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
After a federal judge this week upheld a newly redrawn congressional map, Republicans in Georgia have scored a significant victory ahead of the 2024 elections.
Democrats had hoped to be able to have the map changed in the hopes of flipping one congressional seat from red to blue, but “U.S. District Judge Steve Jones approved the redrawn maps on Thursday, ruling the Republican-drawn boundaries sufficiently complied with the court’s previous order to include a second black-majority district in the state,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“The decision likely guarantees Republicans will preserve control over nine of the 14 House districts in the state as well as their majorities in the state legislature,” the outlet reported further.
State lawmakers were mandated to redraw congressional boundaries following a ruling by Jones in October, declaring the existing map violated the Voting Rights Act. Georgia Republicans submitted a new proposal in early December, incorporating a majority-black district west of Atlanta. However, that resulted in the dismantling of a nearby district with a majority of minority voters.
As a result, Rep. Lucy McBath’s (D-Ga.) district moved even further into GOP territory.
Democrats and voting rights groups quickly contested the maps after they were approved by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), arguing that the revised lines diminish the influence of minority voters.
In their court challenge, the groups accused Republicans of moving voters from outside of the “explicitly defined vote dilution area” into the new black-majority district while also ignoring some 50,000 black voters from the outlined “vote dilution area.”
Nonetheless, the court dismissed that argument, pointing out that it did not confine Republicans to specific districts and that it merely directed the creation of a black-majority district in west Metro Atlanta, a requirement fulfilled in their proposal.
The ruling, if it stands, will give Republicans a better chance of holding onto their slim majority in the House in next year’s elections.
Meanwhile, the poll numbers for President Joe Biden continue to plummet.
In early November, New York Times/Siena College polls indicated that Trump was leading in four of the six swing states; however, additional signs of Biden’s electoral danger quickly surfaced. The president’s advantage over Trump in head-to-head matches is decreasing.
In all but two of the most recent polls conducted this month by 13 different pollsters, Biden’s standing is lower than it was in their earlier surveys.
Additionally, Trump has begun to gather momentum even though polls indicate that the majority of the movement is coming from voters who are switching from Biden to Trump, even though they may still remain undecided.
Now, more than at any other time in the previous year, Trump has a larger vote share, according to the average national poll.
The data at the state level is equally impressive. Apart from the polls conducted by the New York Times and Siena, over the past seven days, additional surveys have indicated that Trump is leading by 8 points in Arizona and 5 points in Michigan.
A number of factors, including the emergence of independent and third-party candidates who have the potential to deflect votes from both Biden and Trump, the onset of war in the Middle East, and Biden’s recent decline and political predicament approximately 11 months before Election Day, indicate that Biden is losing ground to both Trump and dependable Democratic constituencies.
The results of a late November NBC News poll were startling: Trump defeated Biden 46 percent to 42 percent of voters under the age of 35.
While that was well within the wide margin of error for such a small subgroup, other polls indicate a tight race with a Democratic constituency that has historically been dependable. In surveys conducted this month by Quinnipiac University (Biden +9), Fox News (Biden +7), and Morning Consult (Biden +2), Biden’s leads among voters aged 18 to 34 were all in the single digits. (Trump prevailed over Biden in all four voter surveys.)