Abrams and Kemp go hunting for new voters
August 5, 2022
Also in today’s Swing State Georgia:
The Herschel Walker debate saga rolls on.
Brian Kemp wants ‘hungry’ Republicans.
Prosecutors tell why they want testimony from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Stacey Abrams narrowly missed forcing a runoff against Brian Kemp in 2018 thanks to a strategy focused on mobilizing voters who typically skip midterm elections. Kemp bested her by building a rural “red wall” that withstood the wave of Democratic energy.
Four years later, the two familiar rivals are again on the hunt for Georgians who regularly vote in high-turnout presidential elections but stay home during other contests.
In their nationally-watched rematch, both are hungry to expand an electorate so tightly divided that even a small bump in turnout can have a big influence on the election’s outcome.
Though Abrams stands to soak up most of her votes in metro Atlanta and other left-leaning areas, she has spent a considerable time in reliably Republican parts of the state seeking to energize disenchanted voters.
She frames Kemp at each stop as a Republican who “doesn’t care” about Georgians, closing with an attack on his support for anti-abortion legislation that she says treats women as “second-class citizens.”
As an Abrams campaign memo this week contends, the campaign expects deep-rooted opposition to Republican anti-abortion policies to fuel a surge in turnout from voters who might not otherwise have joined her electoral coalition.
As she framed it at a stop in Dalton: “If we want to go back to being a state that believes in the women of Georgia, we’ve got to remove the man who does not want us to be here.”
Just like in 2018, Kemp is trying to win huge margins in Georgia’s agricultural heartland to fend off the Democrat’s second bid for governor.
Back then, he outperformed Trump in several of the state’s most conservative counties.
This election, he’s aiming to better his margins by tying Abrams to stubborn inflation, high energy prices and, above all, President Joe Biden.
Less than two years after he became the first Democratic nominee to carry Georgia in decades, Biden’s approval ratings hover at 36% in the most recent AJC poll.
The election, as Kemp likes to say, is a test of Republican resilience in a state where the GOP has been forced to play defense.
“We’ve been in control for a long time. We’ve got to run like we’re hungry again, like we did back in the mid-2000s,” Kemp said after a campaign stop in Toccoa.
“We’ve got to bring that mentality back, that work ethic back, and we have to have the ground game to do that as well,” he said. “Quite honestly, the Democrats have beaten us at that game. But we’re not going to let that happen in this election.”
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STAY TUNED. Stacey Abrams this morning scheduled what her campaign described as a “major economic address” next Tuesday to discuss her fiscal policies.
Abrams has already promised a $1 billion tax rebate and salary hikes for teachers and some law enforcement officers, but she’s expected to unveil more proposals to counter the Republican narrative that Democrats are to blame for the shaky economy.
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