Abrams, Georgia Democrats want to prove 2020 a ‘fluke’

FILE - Georgia Democratic nominee Governor Stacey Abrams speaks during a rally in Clayton, Ga., July 28, 2022.  Four years earlier, the Georgia Democrats contested the primary for governor because the party's old guard did not believe in Stacey Abrams.  He blew the alternatives of the elders and, in a close general election defeat, established himself as the de facto party boss on a new battlefield.  (AP Photo/Jeff Amy, FILE)

FILE – Georgia Democratic nominee Governor Stacey Abrams speaks during a rally in Clayton, Ga., July 28, 2022. Four years earlier, the Georgia Democrats contested the primary for governor because the party’s old guard did not believe in Stacey Abrams. He blew up the alternatives of the elders and, in a close general election defeat, established himself as the de facto party boss on a new battlefield. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy, FILE)

AP

Four years earlier, the Georgia Democrats contested the primary for governor because the party’s old guard did not believe in Stacey Abrams. He blew the alternatives of the elders and, in a close general election defeat, established himself as the de facto party boss on a new battlefield.

Previewed 2020, when Joe Biden puts Georgia in the presidency of Democrats for the first time in 28 years, while Rafael Warnock and John Osoff hold two Senate seats in early 2021 to give Democrats control of Capitol Hill have done.

Abrams and Warnock now top the Democratic ticket for the first time as the party tries to repeat its success in a difficult midterm election scenario. The result would again help determine control of the Senate in Washington and whether Republicans would continue to dominate the state government in Georgia.

“We are working to show everyone across the country that 2020 was not a fluke,” Democratic Chairperson Nikema Williams said Saturday before the party convention.

Yet Williams and other Democrats acknowledge that 2022 is not a simple iteration of the past two cycles.

Abrams is no longer a rising juggler running against a little-known secretary of state; She is an anti-war challenger facing Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, a well-positioned incumbent. Warnock is not a political newcomer, but a sitting senator who must distinguish himself from a relatively unpopular president who once campaigned for him—a point underscored by GOP candidate Herschel Walker as a rubber for the White House. Constantly criticizes Warnock as a stamp.

The rest of the Democratic slate must run under the banner of a national party that controls Washington amid constant inflation and an uncertain economy. And Democrats must restart their voter turnout campaigns to comply with tighter voting restrictions enacted by Kemp and the state’s Republican legislature after the Democrats’ 2020 victory.

Democrats here say the response is not to run away from their record, but to embrace it, while casting Republicans as an “extremist” party that advances an out-of-step cultural agenda. and remains thrilled for former President Donald Trump.

“Trump’s party is the party of extremism, the party of election detractors, the party of authoritarianism, who say their opinion about who should win the election matters more than the voters,” said lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Charlie Bailey U.S., whose Republican rival, Burt Jones, is among the fake voters who signed false certificates saying Trump, not Biden, had won their states.

That approach aligns with the national midterm pitch that Biden unveiled at a campaign rally in Maryland on Thursday, where he cast voters’ choice in November between Democrats and Trump’s “MAGA movement,” a key GOP tension that Biden called. Said “semi” looks like -fascism.”

Kemp and Republican Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger have drawn praise from moderate voters for pushing Trump’s bid to reverse the 2020 election. But Abrams and others challenge the label “moderate” for anyone.

Abrams criticized Kemp as an “extremist” who signed a secret carry law to loosen gun restrictions and a near-total abortion ban that halts the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, before many Women find out they are pregnant.

MLA B. Nguyen, who challenges Raffensperger, hammers the Secretary of State for changing the state’s voting procedures. Nguyen notes that Raffensperger compiled a staunchly conservative record as a state lawmaker on abortion and guns, among other matters. “He’s not a friend of democracy. He’s also not a friend to women,” she said on a recent liberal “Pod Save America” ​​podcast.

Indeed, Georgia Democrats agree that the Supreme Court’s decision to end the constitutional right to access abortion, coupled with Georgia’s near ban, is a significant enough issue to address swing voters’ concerns about the economy. .

“I will tell you that people are more concerned about protecting their rights and their access to health care,” said state senator attorney general nominee Jane Jordan. ,

Still, Democrats insist they are not afraid to discuss the economy or other issues that Republicans try to claim as their own.

Kemp blasts Abrams as a moderate who wants to “defame the police.” Abrams counters with proposals that would increase the wages of many law enforcement and criminal justice personnel. “Brian Kemp wants you to be afraid of me,” she says in one of his commercials.

Jordan openly speaks of rising crime, but rejects Republicans’ attempt to cast it as the “Atlanta problem”—creating the GOP aimed at white voters beyond the demographically diverse and heavily Democratic city.

“It’s not an urban problem or a suburban problem. It’s a Georgia problem, and those who have been in charge have a lot to answer for,” Jordan said.

In the Senate campaign, Warnock has largely steered clear of Biden, even as he embraces the Democrat’s legislative victory. Warnock introduces a pandemic relief bill and its child tax credit as significant aid to Georgia families. He notes the benefits from the long-sought infrastructure package.

The senator acknowledged that gas prices and general inflation had increased, but noted that he called for the federal gas tax to be suspended and then passed a provision in Democrats’ larger climate and health care bill that would provide for Medicare patients. Lowers the cost of insulin. , Republicans blocked his attempt to expand the limit to all consumers.

Williams, who is also an Atlanta congresswoman, summed up the two-track argument.

“We Democrats have worked nationally. … and just imagine what we can do when we are in control at the state level,” she said. And if Republicans control Congress, he said, “a national abortion ban is on the table” with cuts to popular programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Those warnings ignore that Biden would almost certainly veto such measures. But Williams said the point remains: “A lot is at stake.”

And every slight change among voters counts. In 2018, Kemp topped Abrams by 55,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast members. Biden overtook Trump by less than 12,000 votes out of 5 million cast. In a concurrent Senate runoff two months later, nearly 4.5 million Georgians voted; Warnock and Osoff won by 2 percentage points and 1.2 percentage points respectively.

Democrats expect the November voter turnout to be at least as large as the January 5, 2021 electorate. Georgia needs a majority vote to win statewide office, and liberal candidates can attract enough to force a runoff.

With that in mind, Abrams, a black woman from Atlanta, has spent a lot of time in rural, mostly white Georgia, where she lost in 2018 compared to Democrats’ performance in the last midterm. Jordan, who is white, noted that she grew up in the small town of South Georgia, but now represents a suburban Atlanta State Senate district that was a Republican lock. Abrams occasionally campaigns with Bailey, a white man with a pronounced Southern accent and small-town Georgia roots.

“We have a ticket that looks like Georgia,” Abrams often says.

Al Williams, a black state lawmaker close to Abrams, also praises the ticket. But he put the most pressure on the woman at the top, predicting that in an era of somewhat divided ticket voters, Abrams will have a big day win for the Democrats.

“Stacey is the wind under sail,” he said.

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