And nearly all those incumbents who were challenged won re-election. Only a handful of legislative seats were truly at play in November.
Despite the 2016 outcome, some analysts expect more robust challenges next year, when a wave of statewide seats are on the ballot.
Before Republicans swept to power across the state in the 2000s, Georgia voters had a history of voting for Republicans on the presidential ballot and Democrats on the state level. Now, there’s a different sort of split.
An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll last year found that three-quarters of Georgia voters disapproved of the way Congress is doing its job, but that a plurality approves of the way the state Legislature is performing. That divide grows even wider among Republican voters.
"The split is real. Personally, I keep thinking at some point that dam will break and the anti-Washington sentiment will overtake the state level," said Joel McElhannon, a veteran Republican strategist in Georgia, told us for a story on this phenomenon last year. "I have feared that for several election cycles, but it has yet to happen."