ATLANTA (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney beat Democrat Barack Obama in Georgia's presidential election on Tuesday, an expected outcome in a GOP-dominated state.
Though both Romney and Obama raised money in Georgia, neither mounted a major campaign here. Georgia shifted strongly Republican years ago, and the GOP holds every statewide office. Romney picks up the state's 16 electoral votes.
Attorney General Sam Olens, who chaired Romney's Georgia campaign, described the election as a good sign for local Republicans ahead of the 2014 governor's race.
"Clearly, the Democrats are trying to make a statement that they can come back in two years," Olens said in a phone interview. "The better we show with Gov. Romney, it shows how far the Democratic Party is really dormant in our state."
Although Georgia is a bastion for Republicans, it has not always favored Romney. Before dropping out, former Georgia Congressman and House Speaker Newt Gingrich won the GOP primary in March, getting 47 percent of the vote compared to 26 percent for Romney.
Voters frequently cited the economy when explaining their votes. Clayton Churchville, a 20-year-old college student from Augusta, chose Romney and said new leadership was needed to turn around the sputtering economy.
"Obama's had his turn and nothing got better," he said.