COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Muscogee County voters are playing a significant role in the 2020 Presidential election. As the nation focuses on Georgia’s 16 electoral votes still up for grabs, News 3’s speaks exclusively with experts who explain local voters’ role in turning the Peach State into a purple state.

Georgia is now a battleground for the presidency and control of the Senate. Scott Buchanan, a Professor of Political Science at Georiga College State University and chair of The Department of Government and Sociology, says Georgia’s history as a red state is now turning purple.

“I think 2020 answers that question – we are definitely in the purple category at this point,” said Buchanan.

Muscogee County voters are helping change the political map in Georgia.

“This is a situation where every single vote counts, especially in close contests, and Atlanta can’t do this alone. Biden had to have urban votes from parts of the state, including Columbus and Muscogee County played a role in that,” said Buchanan.

In 2016 Hilary Clinton won Muscogee County with 57.3 percent of the vote over Donald Trump. In 2020 Democrat voters showed up even more for Joe Biden, who claimed 61.4 percent of the Muscogee County Vote. Biden beat Trump in Muscogee County while adding 19,252 votes to Biden’s total in Georgia.

“Biden did a better job of drawing out democratic voters than did Hilary Clinton. You can see that in Muscogee County,” said Buchanan.

No Democratic presidential candidate has won Georgia since Bill Clinton did in 1992. It remains to be seen if Biden will make a permanent mark on the Peach State or if President Donald Trump will hold onto Georgia as he did in 2016.

“What we are beginning to see is rural Georgia is becoming overwhelmingly Republican, but the urban counties where most people live are becoming democratic strongholds. We are getting into a situation where a small handful of counties can essentially decide a statewide contest,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan says the shift establishes Georgia’s new Purple status in 2020 and plants the state firmly in the center of the national political discussion unfolding as the last votes are tallied.