Stacey Abrams is running for governor again, but it’s not going well. One could argue that it’s the Andrea Doria of political campaigns right now. She’s heading for another defeat against incumbent Republican Brian Kemp, who beat her outright in 2018, though Abrams has yet to concede that race. Abrams became an overnight celebrity within the Democratic Party and played a crucial role in securing the state for Joe Biden in 2020. You’d think that with the political infrastructure she had a hand in manufacturing, her 2022 run would be smoother sailing. That turned out to be a gross miscalculation.
With an economy in recession, Joe Biden’s approvals in the 30s, high inflation, and Georgia, by default, not being a true-blue state, the climate never favored a Democrat in the Peach State. To make matters worse, Abrams appears to have had a lackadaisical approach concerning voter outreach operations, which is inexcusable since she’s seen a decline in support with black men. This key voting bloc kept the 2018 race close.
Local Democratic officials have voiced concerns about the Abrams campaign, which seems to have entered this race overconfident of victory. Nothing is guaranteed—and I would say a lot of the hubris that Abrams’ team has exhibited comes from the 2020 one-off election result. North Carolina went blue in 2008 and voted Republican in 2012, 2016, and 2020. Indiana voted for Obama in 2008 and then went red in 2012, 2016, and 2020. One election result does not make a trend, but that also bleeds into the Democratic candidate’s recent issue: Abrams doesn’t care about this year’s electorate (via NYT):
This quote by Abrams is stunningly politically tone deaf for a candidate looking to win in November:— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) September 7, 2022
"I imagine an electorate that is possible, not the electorate as if the election was held today."
Georgia Democrats have grown increasingly pessimistic about Stacey Abrams’s chances of ousting Gov. Brian Kemp from office, pointing to her struggles to rally key parts of her party’s coalition and her inability to appeal to a slice of moderate Republican voters who can decide the state’s elections.
Public and private polls have consistently shown her trailing Mr. Kemp, a Republican seeking a second term. And, in a particularly worrying sign for Ms. Abrams, polls also show she is drawing less support than the other high-profile Democrat on the ballot, Senator Raphael Warnock, who is seeking a first full term.
The gap between the two Democrats, which is within the margin of error in some recent surveys and as wide as 10 points in others, highlights the extent of her struggles. Though she is beloved by Democratic voters, she has lost some ground with Black men, who provided crucial backing in her narrow loss to Mr. Kemp in 2018. And while Mr. Warnock draws some support from Republican moderates, Ms. Abrams — who has been vilified more by the G.O.P. than any other statewide figure — has shown little sign of peeling off significant numbers of disaffected Republicans.
Ms. Abrams’s standing — consistently trailing Mr. Kemp in polls by around five percentage points — has alarmed Democrats who have celebrated her as the master strategist behind Georgia’s Democratic shift.
In an interview last week, Ms. Abrams defended her strategy, noting that her Democratic turnout operation helped carry the state for Mr. Biden, Mr. Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff in the 2020 election cycle. “I imagine an electorate that is possible, not the electorate as if the election was held today,” she said.
Democrats have largely kept quiet on their concerns about Ms. Abrams’s campaign. But several county elected officials and community leaders in Georgia have privately expressed their worries to the campaign directly, according to interviews with more than two dozen Democratic officials who asked not to be named discussing private conversations. They have complained that the campaign was slow to reach out to key constituencies and underestimated Mr. Kemp’s strength in an already difficult year for Democratic candidates.
"Warnock demurred when asked by The New York Times during a news conference if he would campaign with Ms. Abrams, delivering the sort of practiced non-answer Democrats have been reciting"— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) September 7, 2022
Why are you even running if you’re not worried about current voter trends or the makeup of this year’s electorate? Abrams’ ‘head in the clouds’ approach has forced other Georgia Democrats, like Raphael Warnock, to run away from her. The endless liberal media fawning, the lengthy Washington Post profiles, and 2020 vice presidential speculation coverage all went to Abrams’ head. There are political realities, one being that Georgia is not the Acela Corridor. It doesn’t have an electorate comparable to New York or California, and now defeat looks inevitable. How embarrassing that the woman who was the architect in helping deliver Georgia for the Democrats in 2020 couldn’t even manage to clinch her gubernatorial run. Then again, in her mind, the electorate is D-plus 60, she’s running for her second term as governor of Georgia—because she never lost—and she’s also president of “United Earth.” Let’s hope this 2022 race is the last time we hear the name, Stacey Abrams. I doubt it, but that would be a great bonus as we close out this cycle.