The paradox of Cobb: How Trump lost a GOP stronghold while winning Georgia

Ivanka Trump, right, and her half sister, Tiffany Trump, the daughters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, were in Marietta to stump for their father. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Ivanka Trump, right, and her half sister, Tiffany Trump, the daughters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, were in Marietta to stump for their father. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Trump won a 5-point victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Georgia last week by running up huge margins in rural and exurban Georgia. But he lost every core metro Atlanta county to Clinton, giving Democrats a silver lining in an otherwise rough night.

The rising minority populations in Gwinnett and Henry counties made them ripe targets for a Democratic takeover. But even the most optimistic Democrat didn’t expect Cobb County, long the crimson-red lifeblood of the Georgia Republican Party, to flip this cycle.

Cobb hadn’t voted for a Democrat in a presidential race since Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter swept the county in 1976 — and even he was defeated in Cobb four years later. It was the launching pad for the political careers of Newt Gingrich, Sam Olens and Johnny Isakson. And it’s long been one of the most reliable sources in Georgia for GOP cash, votes and volunteers.

“The demographics are changing. We are getting a lot more diverse,” said Jerry Kotyuk, a Marietta tea party activist. “But nobody expected this.”

Read more about why Cobb flipped – and what it means to Georgia Republicans – by clicking here.


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