Why metro Atlanta’s vote matters so much, in a map

By Maggie Lee

It’s no secret that Georgians cluster in metro Atlanta — a blue dot in a red sea.  But a look at a map shows just how much population is concentrated in metro Atlanta, and why changing the size of that dot just a little bit can swing elections.

North Cherokee and south Fulton give some idea what other parts of the state are like compared to inner metro Atlanta: much redder but much less populous.

This map shows voting for governor this year in metro Atlanta’s six most populous counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, Clayton and Cherokee. The map is adjusted to give an idea of voting population too. There’s a dot for each voting precinct; the bigger the dot, the more voters turned out. The redder the dot, the more votes for Republican Brian Kemp; the more blue, the more votes for Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Fulton’s July 2017 population was about 1.04 million. That’s about one in 10 Georgians. This map alone — these six metro counties – are home to about 40 percent of Georgians.


Footnotes:
Election results come from the Georgia Secretary of State’s office as of Nov. 20 and Nov. 21, 2018. Voting precinct maps come from each county’s GIS department, all maps retrieved online.
The dot for each precinct is determined by QGIS, a computer program, selecting a geographic center for each precinct. Each dot is therefore a rough approximation of the center of each precinct, not a dot on each polling place.
The map is published via carto.com.

See a list of all Georgia county populations from the U.S. Census here.

Maggie Lee is a freelance reporter who's been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008.

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