Trends in the 7th Congressional District of Georgia

By: Jeffrey Albertson/Lawrenceville, GA

**This writing will periodically be updated, as events in GA-07 occur. Hashtags: #GA07 & #AlbertsonWrites are an initial commencement of research.

Initial Assessment

When the dust settled on the Congressional race in Georgia’s 7th district, incumbent Republican Robert Woodall’s margin of victory was a mere 419 votes.

First taking office in 2010, Rep. Woodall has, in the election since, carried the district by margins above 20 percent. Before Rep. Woodall, the district was held by Rep. John Linder, who consistently won elections by equally comfortable margins beginning in 2002. In other words, Republicans have safely carried the district since the 1994 midterm election, which happened to be the first time since reconstruction that a Republican held the seat.

In the 2010 midterm election, the 7th district incorporated parts of Barrow, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Newton, and Walton counties. However, following the 2010 Census, the district was redrawn to the current boundaries of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.

Two month ago, Rep. Woodall announced that he would not seek re-election, citing personal and political events. In the statement released on February 7, he stated:

“…I have realized over this past year of change—both in politics and in my family—that the time has come for me to pass the baton and move to the next chapter, and so I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020. I make this announcement as early as possible to ensure that quality conservative candidates have time to prepare for a vigorous campaign in 2020.”

The resignation left the field open for candidates vying for the seat, especially on the Democratic side hoping to building on the success of Rep. Lucy McBath in the neighboring 6th District.

To date, the following candidates have announced (updated 07/30/19): 

Republican

Democratic

Election Data

In the dataset compiled from Gwinnett and Forsyth Boards of Elections, along with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, it is easily identifiable that Republicans in the district have lost a sizable portion of votes in the previous four cycles. Specifically, in Gwinnett County, Republicans have lost 60.98% since 2012. In Forsyth County, they have lost 20.54%.

In the 2018 midterm, Gwinnett County Democrats took advantage of the shifting political landscape and rode a “blue wave” to takeover several state representative, senate, and county seats. In the 2020 general election, Democrats are hoping to build upon that success.

Screen Shot 2019-05-05 at 3.04.17 AM
Legend: Republican, Democratic

Articles

08/07/19 Some U.S. House candidates hit rivals where they live–outside district
08/07/19 In their own words: candidates for Georgia’s 7th congressional district

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