Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Stacey Abrams’ Strategy May Make Victory Easier for Future Black Candidates in the South

*Democrat Stacey Abrams had been poised to be America’s first ever Black female governor for Georgia in the 2018 midterm elections. She had sadly lost by only 1.5 percentage points – probably because of all the allegations of voter suppression.

Abrams had found it to be her duty to challenge all the potential voting irregularities legally before she would offer any kind of concession. By the time these legal options had been exhausted, she was found to still have fewer votes as opposed to Republican Brian Kemp.

Even though she lost, we believe that she and the future of all Black candidates of the Deep South have won. How so? Well Abrams had gone forward to expand the base of the Democratic Party in Georgia through intensive voter mobilization and voter registration – which is designed to drive up the turnout of Black voters.

Her campaign went ahead and invested them in phone banking operations and canvassing which took to the lesson of Alan Gerber and Don Green to the heart. These individuals had beautifully demonstrated how live phone banking and canvassing had the potential to increase the overall turnout of voters.

This strategy was then radically asserted by Abrams while working on the premise that did not woo back all the white people that had left the Party a long time ago. Instead she focused on building this new base of Black voters who have been seen to be growing in number in Georgia.

This practice was somewhat of a challenge to the practice that was described by Paul Frymer – who referred to it as Democratic ‘electoral capture’. Frymer had argued that these Democrats argued the fact that they need not target their messages to the Black community, because 90% of them already voted Democratic.

Abrams therefore no longer paid attention to the diversities in the Democratic base of Georgia. She argued about the fact that because their Democratic voting behavior being strong, Black deserved all the additional attention from her campaign.

To build on our point, when we say that Abrams actually won – we are completely ignoring the fact that she had been bigoted in terms of race and gender attacks or that voter suppression had a part to play in her dampened support. Instead, we are implying that Black candidates in the future will now be able to run highly competitive and more effective campaigns – even in the Deep South.

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