The triumph of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in the GOP primary on Tuesday may have hurt a few of his Republican detractors, but it also hurts his Democratic gubernatorial rival, Stacey Abrams.
Brian Kemp defeated former Senator David Perdue—who was supported by Kemp’s opponent Donald Trump—with over 72 percent of the GOP vote at the moment the vote was announced by the Associated Press. Abrams was the only candidate who ran unchallenged.
Kemp and Abrams will not be on the ticket for the first time in November’s general election. Brian Kemp defeated Abrams from 50.2 percent to 48.8 percent in their 2018 matchup.
Abrams, a voting rights crusader who is credited with the Democrats’ victory in Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, is noted for increasing voter turnout in the state, particularly among African-Americans. However, now that Brian Kemp has won the Republican primary, experts believe she’ll have to double down on her attempts.
According to Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, while Abrams’ work helped change Georgia blue in the 2016 presidential election, the governor campaign will be a whole different story with Kemp on the ticket.
In 2020, Biden won the state by a 0.23-point margin over Trump. Then, in January 2021, Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock beat their Republican opponents, both of whom were Trump supporters, to switch both of Georgia’s Senate seats blue.
Some of the votes cast for Ossoff and Warnock, according to Bullock, had little to do with Democratic Party favor and more about the opposition to the former president.
With Kemp competing versus Abrams again, Georgia residents who previously voted blue because of Trump might vote for the GOP candidate this time and still take a shot at the former president.
“Some of the educated whites who went for Biden, Ossoff, and Warnock since they didn’t like Trump may well not feel compelled to vote for Democrats if the Republican candidate they’re backing is not someone who Trump has supported,” Bullock added.
“Not only will [Abrams] have to generate a large turnout from the minority community, but she will also have to get that proportion of white voters,” he said. He also noted that for a Democrat to win in Georgia, he or she must receive around 40% of the state’s college-educated vote.
Kemp’s victory will “start making [Abrams’] race harder,” Republican strategist Jay Townsend consented.”Kemp is a seasoned campaigner with a keen understanding of the political landscape. Abrams will face challenges if he is easily re-nominated “Before Tuesday’s primary, Townsend informed. “Anticipate the unusual, but the race will undoubtedly be horrid and brutal.”
Now, as Ms. Abrams heads into a national election against Gov. Brian Kemp in one of the most carefully watched governors’ contests in the country, her campaign will put a spotlight on a key subject confronting Democratic candidates this year. To what degree can well-defined, individual personal brands withstand the massive headwinds that the Democratic Party is experiencing as Republicans attempt to nationalize the midterm elections at every move?
Now that President Biden’s approval numbers are a burden on Democrats like Ms. Abrams, inflation has risen, Mr. Kemp is an established politician, and Mr. Trump is not on the ticket, President Biden’s approval numbers are a drag on Democrats like Ms. Abrams. Ms. Abrams isn’t simply a rallying point for Democrats; she’s also a common foe for Republicans trying to bring their party together after a tumultuous primary season.
Kemp’s attraction presents Abrams with a challenging task, as Bullock noted when ideological newcomer Glenn Youngkin defeated former Democratic Governor Terry McAullife in Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year.
“[Abrams] would be better off running against Perdue because Kemp has the ability to have much of the same popularity as Glenn Youngkin did in Virginia,” Bullock said. “That would have been impossible for Perdue to accomplish. He was far too close to Trump.” While competing versus Kemp may make Abrams’ route to governor more challenging, the GOP also faces obstacles. Since a significant number of Republican voters feel the 2020 presidential election will be rigged, their loss of belief in the election process may dissuade them from voting, giving Democrats an advantage in the tight race.
Republican voter apprehension might be exacerbated when Trump, who still wields significant clout among certain GOP voters, attacks the state’s election process in the wake of his candidate’s primary loss.
Prior to the election, the former president even stated that Georgia “could be better” under Abrams’ leadership rather than Kemp’s.
“You might argue that Trump and his allies, such as Sidney Powell, went about stating you can’t trust the voting system, which is why the two Democrats won in January 2021. According to Bullock, “Do not even vote for those Republican senators,’ Sidney Powell was essentially screaming because they hadn’t done enough just to help Trump “