While the Republican Primary for Georgia’s governorship—featuring incumbent Brian Kemp vs the Trump-endorsed former-US Senator David Perdue—is off to a cutthroat start, Stacey Abrams, the de facto Democratic nominee, has quietly begun a marathon of classic, boots-on-the-ground retail politics across the state.
Abrams, whose celebrity has skyrocketed since her narrow defeat in 2018’s Georgia governor’s race, is widely credited with developing the brilliant voter turnout strategy that flipped Georgia blue in the 2020 Presidential election. Described as “the defining storyline” of 2020 by Politico, Abram’s strategy was as simple as it was profound: rather than attempt to change the minds of white moderate voters who were likely to vote Republican anyway, Abrams’ coalition identified new, low propensity Democratic voters, engaged them, and ultimately registered them to vote. The result was astounding. Abrams’ New Georgia Project registered over 800,000 new voters in the state of Georgia in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential election.
But her sudden rise to national Democratic stardom hasn’t changed Abrams’ commitment to the tried and true political approach of knocking on doors and shaking hands. As this New York Times piece points out, “Her first days on the campaign trail have been spent largely in small, rural towns like Cuthbert, where she is more interested in discussing Medicaid expansion and aid to small businesses than the flagship issue that helped catapult her to national fame.” Because while it was the demographic shift in the suburbs of Atlanta that ultimately pushed Georgia from Red to Blue in 2020, her tactic of treating every last voter—whether rural, urban or suburban—as critical to Democratic success is what made her ideas the blueprint for Democratic campaigns in Red states countrywide.