•  

Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 24, 2020   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

National Recap: Stacey Abrams makes significant gains for Democratic Party

President-elect Joe Biden is assumed to become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state of Georgia in approximately three decades. Stacey Abrams, a one-time candidate for Georgia governor, has been credited with helping to garner more Democratic support in Georgia. 

Abrams has played a major role in turning Georgia blue. She raised millions of dollars to help make voting more accessible and helped to register hundreds of thousands of voters, according to the Associated Press. Biden is leading with 49.5% of the vote compared to President Donald Trump’s 49.3%. Overall, Georgia set a record number of votes cast, with over 4 million people voting. 

“There’s a lot of work that’s gone into this, but Stacey really is the architect of what’s been built in Georgia,” said Dubose Porter, former Georgia Democratic Party chairman and one of Abrams’ mentors.

Abrams said that she has seen the potential for Democrats to win Georgia for many election cycles.

“It didn’t just start this cycle,” Abrams said, according to AP. “This had been work that’s been ongoing for nearly a decade, and I’m just proud to see it come to fruition and for it to finally receive the level of investment it deserves.”

Abrams’ success in gaining Georgia for the Democratic Party leads to speculation about her future career opportunities. Some see her becoming the Democratic National Committee chairwoman or taking a high-level position with the Biden administration, according to AP. Those close to Abrams suspect she will run again for governor of Georgia in 2022.

In 2018, Abrams lost to Gov. Brian Kemp, never explicitly conceding to him. She suspected that voter suppression by state officials, including Kemp, played a part in her losing. At the time, Kemp was Georgia’s secretary of state and he oversaw his race against Abrams. These allegations were linked to Kemp’s office purging more than 1.4 million voters from the rolls during his tenure. Kemp denied the allegations, but as a result in the years following, Democrats focused more on the state’s election system and voter registration, education and turnout. After Abrams lost, she formed Fair Fight, a platform to promote voter education and raise money to organize voters. 

In February, Abrams told USA TODAY that “the best way to defeat voter suppression is by having such a high turnout that the barriers to voting have limited effect.”

John Turner can be reached at jturner3@ithaca.edu