Georgia Primary 2016: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Marco Rubio and Donald Trump are two of the candidates fighting for the Republican nomination.

Marco Rubio and Donald Trump are two of the candidates fighting for the Republican nomination. (Getty)

The Democrats and Republicans will hold their Georgia primary on March 1. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET in Georgia.

Georgia is one of many Super Tuesday states that will help shape the nomination process for each party. Five Republican candidates remain in the race for the GOP nomination. Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson are all fighting for the nomination. Based on the early primaries and Super Tuesday polling, it appears that it has become a three-person race between Trump, Rubio and Cruz. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are fighting for the Democratic nomination.

Here’s what you need to know.


1. Georgia Is an Open Primary

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Bernie Sanders has a lot of ground to make up in Georgia. (Getty)

Georgia is one of several Super Tuesday states that offers voters an open primary. This allows voters to choose whether they want to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary regardless of party affiliation. Voters are limited to participating in only one of the two primaries on Super Tuesday.

Georgia residents were required to register to vote by February 1 in order to participate in the Super Tuesday election. Click here to check your registration status and see a sample ballot.

In order to participate in either primary, you must be registered and bring a photo ID. Acceptable forms of identification include Georgia driver’s license, a state-issued voter identification card, a valid U.S. passport and a valid U.S. military photo ID. Georgia held early voting for a short period of time beginning on February 8.


2. Early Polls Show Donald Trump With a Large Lead

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Donald Trump has a sizable lead in most Super Tuesday states. (Getty)

According to RealClear Politics, Trump has an average lead of 14.4 percentage points in early Georgia polls. Rubio and Cruz are in a virtual tie for second place. The most recent poll conducted by CBS News/YouGov on February 22-26 showed Trump with an 11 percentage point lead over Ted Cruz.

Aside from Texas and Arkansas, polls favor Trump in every Super Tuesday state. One thing worth monitoring is how last week’s GOP debate will affect Super Tuesday voting. Rubio and Cruz were aggressive in their attacks on Trump. The attacks included his use of undocumented workers to build Trump Tower and his unwillingness to show the general public his tax documents.

Trump has had great success in early primaries and caucuses. It is worth monitoring whether his opponents attacks will have any impact on Trump’s apparent Super Tuesday lead.


3. Hillary Clinton Has Double the Amount of Support as Bernie Sanders

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Early polls show Hillary Clinton with a lead in nearly all Super Tuesday states. (Getty)

Early polls show Clinton with over double the amount of voting support in Georgia as Sanders. According to RealClear Politics, Clinton has an average lead of 34.8 percentage points in early polls.

The Sanders campaign appears to be losing steam since experiencing early success in states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Super Tuesday comes just days after Clinton dominated in the South Carolina primary.

Georgia is not alone in its support of Clinton. She is favored in all but two Super Tuesday states. Sanders is especially trailing in the Southeast where polling shows Clinton has a great chance to sweep the region.


4. Georgia Has the Second Most Delegates for Both Parties on Super Tuesday

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Marco Rubio hopes to make up some ground on Super Tuesday. (Getty)

It may not match Texas, but Georgia is the second most important state for both the Democratic and Republican candidates.

Georgia has 117 delegates in the Democratic race. On the Republican side, there are 76 delegates at stake. Georgia’s delegates will be awarded based on the proportional method for both parties. This means the delegates will be divided up among candidates based on the results.


5. Newt Gingrich Won the 2012 Georgia Republican Primary

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Newt Gingrich had success in the 2012 Georgia primary. (Getty)

Newt Gingrich won the last Georgia Republican primary in 2012. Gingrich defeated Mitt Romney by 21.3 percentage points, but would lose the nomination to Romney despite his Georgia victory. Georgia was his home state, and he was expected to win.

Prior to 2016, the Democratic party had not hosted presidential primaries since 2008 given President Obama was running for re-election in 2012. Obama defeated Clinton by 35.3 percentage points in the 2008 Georgia Democratic primary.