Stacey Abrams is back—and we’re right there with her. Daily Kos is extremely excited to endorse Abrams’ new bid for governor of Georgia, whose new entry into the select group of swing states she helped bring about.
You know all about her last run: the campaign that electrified progressives nationwide, that showed the Peach State was no longer a Republican bastion but instead could truly be in play. And you, the Daily Kos Community, gave it everything you’ve got, donating record sums, putting in crazy numbers of volunteer hours, and telling everyone who would listen about this amazing candidate seeking to become the first Black woman governor in American history.
But you also, unfortunately, know how it ended—how Abrams’ Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, enjoyed the immoral advantage of overseeing his own race thanks to his role as secretary of state, making him the top elections official in Georgia and giving him the opportunity to rig the system in his favor. Yet even with the taint of voter suppression, Kemp managed to earn the narrowest margin the state had seen in a gubernatorial contest in half a century—just over 1%—and Abrams’ performance was the best by a Democrat in many, many years.
So, let’s talk about what’s going to be different this time:
- Changing demographics: Georgia keeps getting younger, more diverse, and bluer, which is precisely why Republicans have been working overtime to pass new laws making it harder to vote. The proof of these rapid changes could not be more vivid: Joe Biden’s extraordinary victory in the state in 2020, followed two months later by the astounding wins of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to flip both of Georgia’s Senate seats and secure a majority for Democrats. That transformative sweep built on the work of Abrams herself a cycle earlier—momentum she’s now poised to seize once more.
- Universal name recognition: Four years ago, Abrams was minority leader in the state House—an important post, but not one known to most Georgians. Now, thanks to her earlier campaign, she’s a household name across the state, with proven credentials. That’s a huge advantage for any candidate, and a rare one for a challenger. What’s more, Abrams won’t face a primary this time, allowing her to focus on the general election right away. But not so for Republicans ….
- Bloody GOP infighting: Because Kemp had the temerity to recognize Biden’s win, that earned him ceaseless abuse from Donald Trump—and a primary challenge from former Sen. David Perdue, who’s said he would not have certified the 2020 results had he been governor. A nasty, expensive fight to prove who’s the MAGA-iest of them all has already begun, and it could drag on until June, leaving the winner bruised and depleted just as Abrams is building up a full head of steam.
But as welcome as all of these factors are, it won’t be enough. You saw the thuggish lies and vicious tactics Republicans deployed last time; this time, it will be worse. And whether Republicans nominate Kemp or Perdue, we know that either of them can win because both of them have won statewide. As amazing as our victories in Georgia were just over a year ago, they were all extremely tight—and on top of that, we’re facing a midterm environment that, historically, we can expect to be unfavorable to the party in power in D.C.
Above all, demographics are not destiny. We can’t just assume that the growing numbers of Black, Latino, and Asian American voters in the state will translate into victory for Democrats if we don’t engage them. Fortunately, Abrams is particularly skilled at reaching out and motivating folks of all stripes, whether that’s younger people of color registering for the first time or suburbanites appalled with the GOP’s direction under Trump deciding to switch sides.
She will, however, need every ounce of aid we can once again muster. You can’t build the kind of massive get-out-the-vote operation Abrams will require in order to win on goodwill alone. It’ll take money, lots of it. But that’s the beauty of a people-powered community like this one: With your small-dollar, grassroots donations of literally any size, you’ll be helping Abrams activate voters who were just like you before you got involved in politics. You’ll not only play a critical role in putting Georgia on a path to a more progressive future by boosting Abrams’ odds of success, you’ll also encourage the development of the next generation of activists.
This is a campaign for the generations. Our time starts now.