Another bright spot for Dems: They may finally be rid of Stacey Abrams
Abrams has proven extraordinarily good at soaking up media attention and donor money and not particularly good at winning races. She has deprived other, more electable Democrats of funds and even cost Georgia the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Since 2016, in the biggest statewide races — president, U.S. Senate, and governor — Republicans have won only two of them: the two where Abrams was the Democratic nominee. Democrats won the other three, both senate seats in 2020 and the presidential contest in 2020, and are leading in Raphael Warnock’s reelection bid.
Gov. Brian Kemp sits at 53.5% as of 3 a.m. Wednesday morning. Only one Republican has exceeded that percentage since 2010 (Johnny Isakson in his 2016 reelection). Kemp has proved an effective governor, and a shrewd politician, but there’s also no escaping the fact that Stacey Abrams is a net drain on Georgia Democrats.
Why is she a drag? Because she’s a conspiracy theorist who doesn’t talk about what voters care about, but instead caters to a fawning media and a non-representative donor base.
One new conspiracy theory she peddled this year involved her belief that unborn babies don’t have heartbeats, but instead, that sonogram makers are engaged in a dishonest plot to strip away women’s rights.
Her most famous conspiracy theory, though, was that Kemp stole the 2018 governor’s race. She made this claim again and again, and made it a point of doctrine within her party. Her constant claims of widespread voter disenfranchisement were undermined by massive increases in voter registration and turnout in 2018, 2020, and 2022.
Abrams spent the four years after her 2018 loss keeping her never-conceded election loss alive (sound familiar?) by raising millions of dollars in order to fund a lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed by an Obama-appointed judge. Abrams’s “voting rights” nonprofit group spent $25 million on legal fees in the first two years, with $9.4 million of it going to a small law firm, of which one of the partners is Abrams’s close friend and campaign chairwoman, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy.
Abrams in 2018, outraised Brain Kemp $28 million to $22 million. This year, she outraised Kemp $105 million to $81 million, according to the latest figures.
Abrams is a fundraising juggernaut, as her allies call her. She will continue to have a role in the national Democratic Party because of her conspiracy theories and media celebrity. But as the top of the ballot, the person who sets the Democratic message, she’s been a disaster.
Sen. Raphael Warnock will likely need a runoff to win reelection. It’s likely that Abrams’ off-target messaging and general baggage forced him into a runoff. Perhaps her money over the next month will help him win the runoff.
But if Warnock wins in a year Abrams loses, it will be because he ran very differently than she did.
Stacey Abrams spent the election emphasizing race, gender, calling opponents racist and making up a lie about voter suppression. Raphael Warnock ran on jobs & getting things done. Extraordinarily easy to see how he wildly surpassed her in the same state. https://t.co/gLpVEH7bx4
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) November 9, 2022
Democrats had a very good Election Day 2022. If one result is that Stacey Abrams fades out of the public eye, it will be a great night for Democrats.
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