The partisan gulf separating metro Atlanta and the rest of Georgia just got a little wider last night. Click here for the AJC’s county-by-county look at the 2016 presidential contest. But last week, we posted these paragraphs noting that in 2012, President Barack Obama actually edged out Republican Mitt Romney, 49.6 to 49 percent, in the greater metro Atlanta area:
Four years ago, in the 28 counties that the U.S. Census Bureau defined as the greater metro Atlanta area, President Barack Obama edged out Republican challenger Mitt Romney by a mere 12,577 votes out of 2.2 million cast.
Residents of those counties, a footprint that extends from Bartow in the north to Pike in the south, made up 57 percent of the 2012 electorate in Georgia. Romney walked away with Georgia’s 16 electoral votes only because he was able to run up the score in the state’s other 131 counties, winning 59 percent.
An analysis by a number-crunching friend tells us that last night, Democrat Hillary Clinton pulled 52.2 percent of the vote out of those same counties, to Republican Donald Trump’s 44.3 percent. That’s a pretty significant shift in just four years.
The difference? In 2012, Romney posted 59 percent of the vote in the remaining 131 counties, many of them rural. On Tuesday, Trump won 61 percent.