Georgia's electoral votes in play for both presidential candidates

Georgia's electoral votes in play for both presidential candidates

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Georgia's 16 electoral votes are very much in play this year for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Many polls show a tight race here in a generally red state. Voters say it makes their vote that much more important.

Georgia hasn't gone blue since 1992 when Bill Clinton beat George H. W. Bush. Every year since then, Republican candidates received Georgia's 16 electoral votes. You have to go back 1976 and 1980 for two other times when Georgia native Jimmy Carter ran.

Voters like that it finally looks like a two-party state.

John Atkinson has no shame in his choice for President, and come Tuesday at 7 p.m., there's no doubt who he wants to win Georgia.

"I hope it turns out like I want it to, with Mr. Trump being there," said Atkinson.

History is in Trump's favor. Republicans have won the state the last five presidential elections.

"Georgia is heavily contested this year," said Chatham County Democratic Chair Will Claiborne.

Polls reflect that too. A recent AJC poll shows a virtual deadlock. The Democratic Party hopes Clinton breaks that trend.

"We have an excellent opportunity for the first time in 24 years for Georgia to come back, switch back in the democratic column. We've got 16 electoral votes that we'd love to bring them to the table," said Claiborne.

Clinton signs - like the one at Andrew Smith's home - show a strong support base for the first major party female nominee. Smith feels like his voice finally matters again.

"It's refreshing that we have a choice in the state of Georgia after so many years," said Smith.

Other Chatham County democrats feel the same way. Their message to democratic voters: go vote.

"It may be this one little person, but it's important that one little person says what one little person thinks. If enough of the people do that then it becomes one very, very large voice," said Tyler Tunny, a Clinton supporter.

Whether your choice is Clinton or Trump, the people I spoke with just hope you vote.

"I feel like that if they don't get out and vote, they are turning their back on their country," said Atkinson.

"We want to make certain that we keep our majority in the House and Senate. We've got lots of races that we're looking at. We definitely do not want Georgia to turn," said Chatham County Republican Party Secretary Linda Olson.

While voters here seem to be pleased Georgia is in play once again, it has taken what many consider the most divisive election in half a century to get us there.

It's important to note, President Obama did win Chatham County handily in 2008 and 2012. He won 46 and 45 percent of the vote in those years statewide. Claiborne feels like Clinton needs 48 percent to have a good chance to win the state.

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