Election 2020: Inside Georgia’s 6th District race

No district may illustrate the political shift happening in suburbs around the U.S. more than Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. 

For decades it was a solid Republican seat whose winners -- Newt Gingrich, Johnny Isakson and Tom Price -- became major figures in the GOP. That hold showed hints of weakening in 2016, and two years later Democrat Lucy McBath scored a surprising victory. 

Who’s running

McBath is running for a second term. The  gun control advocate and former Delta Air Lines flight attendant, got involved in politics after the 2012 death of her son, Jordan Davis, a black teenager who was fatally shot by a white man following a dispute over his music at a Florida gas station. The shooter was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence in prison. 

Republicans are lining up to challenge McBath after her narrow win. Four GOP candidates, including Karen Handel, who lost to McBath in 2018, have put their names in the hat. That list also includes state Sen. Brandon Beach, military veteran Nicole Rodden and businesswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. Also running as an independent is Donnie Bolena, who originally filed to run as a Republican but was briefly persuaded to drop out of the race by state and local party officials after proclaiming himself a white nationalist in a Facebook video. 

>> Read more: Who’s running in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

Predictions

Here’s how election forecasters currently rate the race. 

Cook Political Report Inside Elections Sabato's Crystal Ball
Toss up Tilt Democratic Leans Democratic

Headlines

>> Next year’s Sixth District contest could be an in-your-face debate over guns 

>> Why Lucy McBath faces challenge over Trump impeachment

>> House passage of firearms bill holds deep meaning for Georgia lawmaker

>> The two things you need to know about Lucy McBath

History

The 6th District does not change parties often. Democrats held the office for more than a century until Newt Gingrich won it in 1978. Republicans held it until 2018 and used the seat as a springboard. Gingrich would eventually rise to speaker of the House and was briefly the front-runner in the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Johnhy Isakson, who followed Gingrich, went on to the Senate. Tom Price came next and became President Donald Trump's secretary of health and human services. 

Demographics

The 6th District has the highest concentration of college graduates and average income in Georgia. About 62% of adults have a college degree or higher, which is 20 points higher than the next highest district and 30 point higher than the state average. 

Population: 756,389 (68% white, 13% black, 13% Hispanic of any race, 11% Asian American)

Average household income: $129,721

Median age: 37.8 years

Holding a college degree: 62%

Georgia natives: 33%

District map

The 6th District generally consists of suburbs in north metro Atlanta. It includes parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties. 

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