Lucerne County, Pennsylvania, which Donald Trump won in 2016 after two victories by Barack Obama, and Cobb and Gwinnett Counties in Georgia, which Hillary Clinton won after successive Republican victories, have played a crucial role in determining the outcome of this year’s presidential election.
The winner in both Georgia and Pennsylvania was not yet known on Friday night. The Trump campaign has called for a recount in Georgia, where unofficial results showed Biden with a slight lead. In Pennsylvania, Joe Biden also had a slight lead, and Trump has raised legal objections to the handling of certain ballots.
In Cobb County Georgia, Biden scored a decisive victory of 12.33% and outdid Trump with 56.35% to 44.02%, as unofficial results show. In 2016, Clinton Cobb County won 2.1% after Romney won 12.42% in 2012 and McCain 9.4% in 2008.
Jacquelyn Bettadapur, Chair of the Cobb County Democratic Committee, said Biden’s success in the county came as no surprise, as it is part of a continuing trend of growing Democratic strength, as evidenced by Clinton’s victory in the county in 2016 and Stacey Abrams’ victories there in her unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 2018.
“We have seen increasing urbanization of this district,” Bettadapur told Washington Newsday. “The demographic trend has shifted significantly, and this, combined with Trump’s rejection and the extreme rhetoric we have seen over the past four years, has helped to increase that latitude.
She said the Georgia Democrats have built an infrastructure to increase participation in the political process and win the election.
Trump won Georgia 5.09% in 2016 by receiving the 16 votes of the electoral college in an election in which he lost the national referendum but won the presidency. On Friday evening Biden was in the lead with 0.1%.
Biden also won Gwinnett County. According to unofficial data from Friday morning, he led with 17.85% Trump. In 2016 Trump beat Gwinnett County with a win of 5.79% after Obama had won there in 2008 with 10.21% and in 2012 with 9.20%.
In Pennsylvania, Donald Trump again won the Lucerne district this year. According to unofficial results on Friday morning, the president leads the Democratic challenger in the district with 14.53%.
Justin Behrens, Lucerne County’s Republican county leader, said the working class in this former coal-producing area felt Trump represented them better. Parts of the county are only a 20-minute drive from Biden’s home in Scranton.
“The people here in northeastern Pennsylvania are now more educated and much more entrenched in politics and have a better idea of who the candidates are,” Behrens told Washington Newsday.
Behrens said the results in the county, where several other Republicans won, showed that the values of the region’s Democratic Party were rejected by the people in the county.
“They come to the Republican Party and support the Republican agenda,” he said.
After Obama’s victories of 8.41% in 2008 and 4.81% in 2012, the county swung from an 8.41% win in 2008 and 4.81% in 2012 to a 19.31% win in 2016.
In 2016, Trump Pennsylvania won by less than 1%. On Friday morning, the former Democratic vice president led the incumbent Republican president by the same margin.