Stacey Abrams, (still 55,000 votes short of being)
Governor of Georgia, has published her “Playbook” for Georgia, and so goes the nation. Flaming in deep purple sans serif text, Abrams lays out her investment strategy to flip the red Georgia clay to ocean blue.
When analyzing next year’s political landscape and electoral opportunities, any less than full investment in Georgia would amount to strategic malpractice. Beyond our organic growth and concomitant efforts to maintain our progress, the volatile national environment, arcane Electoral College system and limited pathways to pick up U.S. Senate seats make Georgia a must-compete and must-win state.
This is what Abrams has been working on all these months since her loss. She is planning on raising enough cash to outpace the $54 million spent in Georgia 2018, noting that the cost of a “swing vote” is cheaper in Georgia than in other states. For instance, Florida, despite nearly $128.5 million spent, still came out in the (R) column.
What tickles me is this interesting tidbit where Abrams admits against interest–or at least her narrative of a stolen election–that there was no voter suppression in Georgia. In fact, that’s a selling point of her playbook.
THE ABRAMS CAMPAIGN INVESTED BIG AND INVESTED EARLY. YOU SHOULD, TOO.
To scale up and communicate with 1.9 million unlikely voters plus the smaller pool of swing voters, the Abrams campaign launched an extensive voter contact effort through a volunteer field program starting in the primary. In addition, we ran the primary Early Vote and GOTV operation like a general election operation and tested voter protection machinery. Our victory on Primary Night was staggering: we won 76% of the vote and 153 of 159 counties, with the highest non-presidential primary turnout in Georgia history.
Don’t underestimate Abrams or the Democrats. They are much more organized and prepared at the grassroots level than Republicans. They are much more unified in many ways, given the schism Trump has driven into his party, especially between the rural parts of the state and suburban metro Atlanta.
Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Greg Bluestein wrote that the memo is “ricocheting around Washington.” I’m certain it is. Democrats seem to be divided on whether they should impeach Trump or just trounce him and the horse he rode in on in 2020.
As much as they smell blood and rotting corpses in the water, I still think this is Trump’s election to lose (I know, he’s trying hard). But on the other hand, the more Trumpy Trump gets, the more the protest vote that could put at least one Georgia Senate seat in Democrat hands becomes likely.
This makes it all the more important that Governor Brian Kemp make a good and safe pick to fill Sen. Johnny Isakson’s seat. Sen. David Perdue can hold his own, but if Isakson’s seat becomes a farce or a referendum on Trump, Republicans can see trouble coming.
Honestly, Georgia is a very important state to both parties in 2020. A win for Democrats across the House and Senate will signal to the Democrats that Republicans may be weaker than expected, and a loss of the White House along with the Senate could be catastrophic–given that the party will need time to recover from the post-Trump slump.
All this “racist” stuff being thrown around Georgia by Abrams and her surrogates is not really how they see the campaign. They know white voters are the key to winning.
One key observation of our campaign was that we did not have to neglect white voters to substantially target and engage voters of color. Instead, we invested a commensurate amount for the potential yield of the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of moderate or unknown partisan white voter universe, and accordingly spent the lion’s share of our resources on both broad and targeted communications as well as a large scale both volunteer and paid field effort that knocked on over 1.5 million doors of the racially and ethnically diverse 1.9 million targeted voters across the state.
Don’t underestimate Abrams or the Democrats. They have money, and they’re going to spend it. In Georgia, they have a game plan, and the rest of the Democrats are watching very closely.