If you look at the electoral maps since 1992, the only reason the Republicans are even still in the game is because of Texas and Georgia. That's a total of 50 electoral votes that will usually go the GOP's way unless the roof has fallen in on them. If I'm a Republican strategist waking up this morning, I'm afraid--very afraid, when I look at the results in Georgia.
Despite Obama effectively ceding the state, Romney still only won it by eight points. And yet, based on the demographics, this may be the last time Georgia is on the sidelines in a presidential election for a long, long time. For one thing, it looks like the days of Republicans running up insane margins in the Atlanta suburbs may be over. Romney won Cobb County by 12 points--outperforming McCain by four there. Impressive--until you consider Bush won it by over 30 in both elections. He also won Gwinnett County by only nine points, three fewer than McCain--and way under Bush's margins of 30 or better.
Two lessons here are obvious. One is that we could have competed in Georgia, even though under normal circumstances we can get to 270 without it. Forcing Romney to spend a ton of money on expensive Atlanta television would have spread him very thin. The other is that once the Atlanta suburbs turn more purple, Georgia is going to be as much of a dogfight as North Carolina is now. Which means the Republicans will now face having to spend money in three very expensive markets--Atlanta, Charlotte and the Triangle. Given the current demographic trends in these three areas, it could be enough to make things mighty interesting in Georgia for a long time to come.