Nov 30, 2021 - Politics

Georgia's new districts, explained

Illustration of the state of Georgia with changing districts within it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Since last week felt like a small tsunami of news, we’re revisiting a story that will affect Georgians for the next decade: the new congressional maps that passed along party lines.

What’s next: Gov. Brian Kemp has not yet signed these into law. Multiple organizations have promised to sue as soon as he does.

Here’s the skinny on the proposed changes affecting metro Atlanta:

6th: As we’ve reported, the map turns the suburban district that Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath flipped in 2018, into a Republican stronghold that reaches into rural north Georgia. McBath has opted to run in the new 7th district instead.

  • Expect an active Republican primary in the district formerly represented by Newt Gingrich.

7th: The district Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux flipped in 2020 will become a safe Democratic seat. However, Bourdeaux, a centrist, now faces increased primary pressure from the left, including from fellow incumbent McBath.

14th: The deep red northwest Georgia seat held by far right Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene now stretches into a Democratic corner of Southwest Cobb County. Greene was just as unhappy about this as her new Democratic constituents.

9th: Similarly, the deep red northeast Georgia district represented by Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde will now reach into Gwinnett County and exclude Clyde’s own Jackson County.

  • Clyde has vowed to run again, but blamed the change on state lawmakers “punishing elected officials for being too conservative.”

One more time for the people in the back: The Constitution does not require members of Congress to live in their districts. But there’s no rule against it becoming a campaign issue.

Want more? Maggie Lee has put together some interesting visualizations of the changes for Atlanta Civic Circle.

Elsewhere: Per FiveThirtyEight, nearly all other Georgia incumbents have seen their districts’ Republican leanings strengthen.

  • Just Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop and Republican Rep. Rick Allen’s districts have dropped a few percentage points.
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