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USA | Nov 10, 2022

Why can’t Stacey Abrams ever win?

Al Edwards

Al Edwards / Our Today

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Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams, hailed as a leading light in the Democratic Party, lost again, this time going down by a wider margin to Brian Kemp in this week’s US midterm elections.

She challenged to become governor of Georgia in 2018 and lost to Kemp. He beat her again in the rematch.

Abrams is beloved by liberal media, particularly by the likes of Joy Reid and Tiffany Cross. She is intelligent, articulate and politically savvy, but just doesn’t have political dynamite at the ballot box.

An Achilles heel for Abrams is winning over black men.

She did say, “If black men vote for me, I will win Georgia.”

But they didn’t.

Why?

Many black men are put off by the combative, self-assured black woman who can do right all by herself. That kind of modern women seems to offend their sensibilities with their snipping at black men’s shortcomings.

Then there is the issue of whether Abrams can be trusted with the economy.

All the polls had Kemp ahead by five points. He is well liked in the state and has an affable manner that resonates with the electorate. He was also able to take black votes away from Abrams.

Both in 2018 and in 2022, Abrams appeared unable to gain headway with swing voters. Kemp appeals to Republicans and moderate Democrats and so benefited from those crosswinds.

Abrahams is seen as part of the new wave of Democrats who champion Black Lives Matter, cancel culture and marginal issues.

The writer and TV personality Meghan McCain took great delight in pointing out that, despite all the press Abrams and Beto O’Rourke get, they come up losers and how long will the Democrats keep faith with them.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The young ladies of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, known as ‘The Squad’, come in for some stick for their progressive stance, but they win.

The term ‘The Squad’ is used in a pejorative way, but these young ladies do connect with constituents and guarantee victory for the Democratic Party.

Far from balking at ‘The Squad’ moniker, these progressive Congress women have embraced it and wear their solidarity with pride.

Pressley explained: “We are more than four people. We ran on a mandate to advocate for those ignored, left out and left behind. Our squad is big. Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world.”

Stacey Abrams

What Abrams needs to be is appealing to a cross section of Georgians. She has to go away and come up with a winning formula or she is destined to be waving at the parade as it goes by instead of joining it.

She is an asset to the Democratic Party and, having served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, has a lot to offer. The question is, having failed twice, does she have what it takes to flip Georgia from red to blue?

Kemp remained focused on the economy and did not allow himself to be distracted. This is a time of bread and butter, dining table issues. The economy, education, crime, housing, the welfare of small businesses, healthcare are all at the forefront of Americans’ concerns.

They don’t want to be taken down ideological rabbit holes.

Democrats were confident that Abrams would become the first black female governor in American history. It was not to be.

Back in 2018 she came close, losing by fewer than 55,000 votes. This time around she lost by 300,000. That tells a story. Counting on a larger turnout this time, it was hoped that she would be able to cross the winner’s line.

Taking on the incumbent was always going to be tough, particularly with an unpopular President and a struggling economy.

“Every success I’ve ever had in politics has been about building the electorate I need -building the electorate we should have, which is an electorate that’s much more reflective of the state,” Abrams said in Atlanta.

Governor Brian Kemp. (Photo: gov.georgia.gov)

Squaring off against Kemp in Georgia was a battle between the suburbs and the rural south. Abrams needed both. She has been painted as a far-left sympathiser but that does not tell the full story of Stacey Abrams.

She was once considered a running mate for Biden but it is hard to see where she goes from here. She must be able to point to a meaningful victory and exhibit political bona fides.

She has not done so as yet.

Her shortcomings as a candidate will now be used as a whip as she undergoes scrutiny. The question will have to be asked, can a two-time loser become a winner?

“That’s just always the way my mind has worked, taking something that seems impossible or too big and then breaking it down into those pieces so that I know how to get there.”

Stacey Abrams

Was this race a bridge too far?

Not for Abrams, who explained: “That’s just always the way my mind has worked, taking something that seems impossible or too big and then breaking it down into those pieces so that I know how to get there.”

Abrams may well have to get her notebook and go see Bill Clinton.

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