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Democrats Going with Abrams November Strategy to Take Georgia, and the Senate

Democrats like Abrams have this worked out. They have the money. They have the story to tell--damned if it's true or not. They smell blood in the water in swampy Georgia, and they mean to use it to pull down Trump and the Senate.

For those of you who haven’t been following, let me break this down for you. The Democrats want to use Georgia as a model to take both houses of Congress and the White House. Governor Vice President* Stacey Abrams published a playbook about this.

To work, the strategy requires significant investment on the ground in Georgia, which has been a focus of Democrats this year. But the theme is equally important, and that is voter suppression. This theme ties in both Gov. Brian Kemp, who was Secretary of State in 2016 and in 2018 when he won the governor’s race (beating Abrams by over 50,000 votes with record turnout for a non-presidential election year), and President Trump, who is just unpopular enough in suburban districts to pull down support for statewide race Republicans.

Democrats don’t really want to win Georgia’s electoral votes for Joe Biden. Well, of course, if they win it, they’ll take it, but there’s not much chance of that, not enough to invest serious cash. But they’ll play like it matters. What they really want is to damage both Sen. David Perdue, and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, along with her Republican challenger Rep. Doug Collins.

Georgia has the privilege of both Senate seats in play. Perdue is up for re-election, and Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Kemp to fill retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson’s seat. Democrats think they can take both.

So if you read the media landscape today, you’ll see this huge push on Jon Ossoff (who?).

Ossoff is the guy who lost a special election in 2017 for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District to Karen Handel. Handel then lost her seat to Democrat Lucy McBath in 2018, when suburban Atlanta women had a fit of revulsion over Trump’s election. Handel is running again for that seat, and won Tuesday’s primary to face McBath again (I like Karen and support her candidacy, despite her unfortunate name, because she’s the anti-“Karen”–if anything she’s too nice).

Let’s be clear: Jon Ossoff is a nobody. He’s even more of a nobody than Beto O’Rourke. He’s achieved, in electoral terms, nothing. He has held no office, won no election, and never even held a staff position of responsibility. Even his heavily-edited Wikipedia entry can only offer that he “attended classes taught by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.” OMG, he touched power!

The only thing Ossoff has is youth, and some kind of AOC-hipness vibe thing that people in the DNC mistake for electability.

But like they did with Handel’s race, which turned out to be the most expensive Congressional election in history, outside Super PACs and other Democrat groups are going to pour money into Georgia like the water hose when someone pulled the drain plug on Bill Clinton’s Jacuzzi before the super models showed up.

Perdue is going to have to spend probably $20 million to keep his seat, because he’s going to have the kitchen sink: racism, rich Republicanism, Trumpism, and every other -ism, thrown at him.

But that’s not all.

Gov. Kemp, who isn’t even in the race, will feature prominently, along with another person who isn’t running: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Democrats are going to make November about ballot access. Abrams’ has the media’s ear, and a pot of money to spend.

There’s a coordinated push to frame Georgia elections as a form of systemic racism. Democrats hope to simultaneously push for massive voter registration, vote by mail, and also claim that the new voting machines (which were ordered as a result of a lawsuit alleging the old voting machines were racist) are racist.

Here’s the AP quoting Abrams, who is not running at all in 2020 (unless, haha, she somehow get the VP nod, which is not happening).

Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor and an Atlanta resident, said, “The blame rests solely and squarely on the shoulders of the secretary of state.”

Abrams established herself as a voting rights advocate after she refused to concede her 2018 race to Kemp because of voting irregularities.

“Georgia has seen this before,” Abrams told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “Yesterday was the most egregious example.”

And the “voter suppression” drumbeat goes on.

Voting rights groups, including Abrams’ Fair Fight Action, said Georgia’s experiences justified their efforts to combat what they described as a coordinated GOP push to restrict ballot access. Fair Fight, Priorities USA and American Bridge this week announced a “Voter Suppression Watch” partnership.

“Trump is already trying to extend this culture war by creating fear around vote-by-mail,” said Aneesa McMillan of the Priorities political action committee. She noted the Republican National Committee’s plans to recruit thousands of poll watchers now that the GOP was no longer under a court order banning the practice, which Democrats equate to voter intimidation.

None of this is true, mind you. Nobody is restricting access to ballots in Georgia. There’s incompetence, COVID-19, and other problems, but not voter suppression. But that’s the narrative.

Democrats like Abrams have this worked out. They have the money. They have the story to tell–damned if it’s true or not. They smell blood in the water in swampy Georgia, and they mean to use it to pull down Trump and the Senate.

This is hardball politics.

If Trump really wants to win and have any coattails, he needs to stop shadow boxing and start really punching, politically. That means stop the Twitter trolling and conspiracy flinging. It means he needs to get serious and support Gov. Kemp and Sen. Perdue, not by turning up the crazy knob, but by showing that he can turn it down.

Georgia is going to be a battle zone this November, and Republicans need to prepare for political war.

*H/T to Todd Rehm for consistently acknowledging the strikethrough versions of Stacey Abrams elected office titles.


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