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Two explanations easily come to mind.

The first is that Georgia is "bluer" than other southern states. In support of this theory is that Joe Biden won it in 2020, and Bill Clinton in 1992.

The more apparent explanation is that Georgia was Carter's home state. Except that Donald Trump lost his home state (New York) in both 2016 and 2020, Al Gore (Tennessee) in 2000, and George McGovern (South Dakota) in 1972. Walter Mondale barely won Minnesota in 1984 by 0.2% points (versus nearly 15% for Carter).

Could someone who is either from Georgia or least familiar with Georgian politics enlighten me on this matter?

Sources: Various U.S. Presidential election wikipedias.

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    Home state effect used to be stronger before clearer ideological divide between parties, and more nationalised politics. Carter was to the left of Reagan, but not much less conservative than eg Nixon had been.
    – Ne Mo
    Jul 30, 2022 at 10:05

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It is not surprising since Jimmy Carter was elected governor of Georgia, a statewide position which indicates strength across the state. Note that Donald Trump, a Republican, never ran for office in New York which is a heavily Democratic state.

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  • Not quite sure how the final sentence is responsive to the question.
    – MCW
    Jul 31, 2022 at 22:09
  • Trump as a TV personality would be better-known than most candidates in New York, but perhaps not better-regarded. In contrast, Carter had a lot of experience knowing how to attract the support of his home-state votes, as well as being very well-known to the Georgian public.
    – Stuart F
    Aug 2, 2022 at 13:48
  • @MCW: I consider the last sentence responsive. Trump never campaigned for or won any office in NY state so his residency is "irrelevant."
    – Tom Au
    Aug 4, 2022 at 16:57

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