Republican Gov. Brian Kemp will keep his governor’s seat following a win against two-time Democratic nominee, Stacey Abrams. Democrats of Georgia were outdone by Republican voters despite increased efforts and funding to help Abrams make history in the state.
Supporters came out in record numbers for her gubernatorial campaign in 2018 where Abrams helped mobilize historically marginalized groups, increasing voter turnout across Latino, Black, and Asian communities. However, this time around, Abrams trailed Kemp in the polls by at least 5 percent during the majority of the race even though her campaign focused largely on registering new voters of color instead of swaying white moderates.
The Democratic nominee entered this race more hopeful than the last as she championed a major campaign to register and activate more than 800,000 new voters in Georgia. The combined efforts of Abram’s organizations, When Fair Fight and the New Georgia Project, contributed to the state “turning blue” during the 2020 Presidential election where current President Joe Biden became the first Democratic candidate to win the state for in 28 years.
Following her second loss, the Democratic challenger took to Twitter to thank her supporters.
“I know that throughout this campaign, Georgians’ stories were told and lives were changed because of what we did together. This isn’t about politics or even policies. It has always been about people. Righteous fights never end. Let’s keep getting it done,” Abrams tweeted.
While areas like Atlanta, Savannah, Macon and Athens showed overwhelming support for Abrams, they were outnumbered by Republican voters. Abrams also went big on sponsors as she secured endorsements from former president Barack Obama, playwright Lin Manuel-Miranda, Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J., and television personality and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey.
Throughout the campaign, a big concern during the election was Abram’s approval ratings among Black men. In October, Bloomberg News reported that one-third of Black men in Georgia who were registered to vote had not participated in the previous three elections.
When Abrams lost in 2018, Gov. Kemp won by 55,000 votes. Following the election, exit polls reported that 97 percent of Black women voted for Abrams and so did 88 percent of Black men. Consequently, that nine-point difference between male and female voters represented 120,000 votes.
Ultimately, there were 1.8 million Georgians who declared that they wanted Abrams as the governor compared to the 2.1 million who decided that Kemp should remain in office. The voters of Georgia saw the most expensive governor’s campaign to date as Abrams raised $85 million dollars compared to Kemp’s $60 million.
Howard University students like Thomas McDaniel, who is a sophomore community development major from McDonough, Georgia, expressed disappointment at the outcome of the race.
“Historically, Georgia has shown that it is not yet ready for such an articulate African American woman to govern the disunited state. Even with record-breaking voter turnout, we are still at a disadvantage when it comes to the outweighing Georgia’s population of prejudiced voters tied to various communities and backgrounds,” McDaniel said.
Abrams, who was the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States and was considered one of the top contenders for Biden’s Vice president role, no longer holds an official public office.
“But looking at the results tonight, we made sure that Stacey Abrams is not going to be our governor or your next president,” Kemp said to his supporters on election night from his election headquarters in Cobb County.
Copy edited by Alana Matthew