As Georgia Turns Bluer, All Eyes Turn to Stacey Abrams

Democrats are praising her for years of work on registering voters, fighting suppression
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2020 1:50 PM CST
In Georgia's Blue Shift, It's Not Biden Getting the Credit
Stacey Abrams speaks to Joe Biden supporters on Nov. 2 at Turner Field in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

(Newser) – Joe Biden now has a slim lead in Georgia, while both of the state's Senate races might be headed to a runoff. Not long ago, the possibility that Democrats could do so well in Georgia would have been unthinkable in what has long been a reliably red state. But as Georgia shades toward blue, it's not Biden getting the lion's share of the credit, writes Patricia Murphy at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Instead, it's Stacey Abrams. Coverage:

  • The praise: "And thank YOU, Stacey," tweeted Hillary Clinton, responding to an Abrams tweet that spread around the credit to others. "What time is the Stacey Abrams parade?" wrote publishing exec Lisa Lucas. "This American citizen would love to thank you from the bottom of her heart!!" wrote actress Viola Davis. Similar sentiments are all over from Democrats, including a party official in Wisconsin who thanked Abrams for her "pivotal" help in that state as well. (Biden won Wisconsin.)

  • About Abrams: She rose to national prominence in 2018 when she nearly became the nation's first female Black governor. Prior to that, she served as the minority leader in the state House from 2011 to 2017, per ABC News. During her legislative career, she launched the New Georgia Project to register voters of color and fight voter suppression. After her gubernatorial run, she launched Fair Fight Action to further the mission. Since 2016, about 1 million additional state residents have registered to vote.
  • Another run? The AJC also reports that Fair Fight Action has raised more than $32 million since Abrams' 2018 loss, and millions of that went toward the get-out-the-vote effort in 2020. Her fundraising prowess shows that Abrams "will have no trouble building a gigantic war chest if she seeks a rematch with Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022."
  • Legacy: In a story about all this, Glenn Thrush of the New York Times writes that Abrams "is increasingly seen as the new torchbearer of the movement embodied by two iconic Georgians: Martin Luther King Jr. and Representative John Lewis. Mr. Biden's surge cemented that."
  • Criticism: Abrams never formally conceded in her 2018 race, though she did announce the end of her campaign, notes the Times. Fox News' Byron York is among those now calling attention to that: "In light of Biden pull-ahead in Georgia, much Democratic praise for Stacey Abrams," he writes. "Indeed, her conduct in 2018 governor's race could become model for Trump postelection stance."
(Read more Stacey Abrams stories.)

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