In the fifth presidential primary debate, Joe Biden noted that Democrats need to do two things to secure the party’s future. One being, liberals need to win over the south.
First, the party’s winning presidential candidate needs to defeat President Trump in the 2020 election. And second, it needs to turn some red states blue to regain a majority in both chambers of Congress.
Flipping red states is particularly important in the South, where Trump won all the electoral votes in 2016. Luckily, several states are seeing demographic changes and potential district changes that could make some transitions possible.
Key Targets: Georgia and North Carolina
It was no accident that the November debate took place in Atlanta. Georgia is one of the Southern states that could most realistically see transitions in power over the next few election cycles, alongside North Carolina.
Both states have been trending blue in recent years. Georgia, in particular, has a large African American population that contributes to the Democratic Party vote. Democrats have also made strong gains in the suburbs, forcing the GOP to focus on rural voters to win elections – a losing strategy as urbanization continues.
Redistricting will Change the Southern Landscape
After the 2020 census, voting districts will be redrawn around the country. In states with gerrymandered districts, this could have a significant impact on future Congressional elections, transitioning seats from red to blue.
The South, In particular, will likely see a lot of changes after districts are redrawn. In 2019, five of the seven states that have faced redistricting litigation have been Southern states. This indicates deep problems with the current district lines and big opportunities for the Democratic Party.
Regional Growth is Within Reach
Southern states have skewed red in presidential elections for nearly 20 years. However, the presence of Southern liberals in Congress is proof that there are still some Democratic strongholds throughout the region.
As target states slowly transition from red to purple to blue, and as districts are redrawn to better represent different parts of the electorate, the liberal party has the opportunity to win over the region and increase its legislative power in the coming years.