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Democrats may be on the way to a national shellacking in this year’s midterm elections but some in the party are hopeful that any losses won’t extend to Georgia, a state that is seen as a critical foothold in the south in which they seek to consolidate their power base.
Bolstering hopes that the party can plant its flag in the traditionally red state is the appeal of the dynamic duo of sitting U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock and firebrand activist Stacey Abrams on the ticket, a power couple that has been described in heroic terms by Bakari Sellers, a civil rights attorney and Democrat strategist.
“Stacey Abrams and Raphael are Batman and Catwoman,” he said. “They are two of the more talented people in our party,” according to a McClatchy report on the upcoming battle for the Peach State.
Democrats say the two politicians will run together as a ticket, with a special emphasize on rural outreach and black voters.
Warnock, a radical leftist preacher who narrowly eked out a win in last year’s special runoff election against Republican Kelly Loeffler that allowed Democrats to establish their razor-thin Senate majority will be seeking a full six-year term in November.
I'm back on the ballot again this year and once again need your help. Can you chip in what you can to my campaign? https://t.co/kuoAmsBx24
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) January 5, 2022
However this year, instead of Loeffler, a candidate who was tabbed by Kemp to fill the seat of Sen. Johnny Isakson — who retired for health reasons in 2019 — and failed to to generate enthusiasm with enough of the base to keep the Senate under GOP control, Warnock will be facing retired NFL superstar Herschel Walker who has been endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump.
Walker currently holds a narrow lead over Warnock according to a new poll that was published last Thursday by the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the 3.5 percent advantage falls within the margin for a statistical tie but with inflation raging and the public souring on President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats it will be essential for the Baptist minister to engage in plenty of old-fashioned retail politics to extend his stay in the Senate.
While acknowledging that “voters are in a foul mood,” former DNC chairwoman and CNN pundit Donna Brazile said that “The most important thing for Sen. Warnock to do is to show up every weekend, or whenever time permits, and to go beyond Atlanta, to go into those small communities around the state of Georgia and talk to the farmers, talk to the manufacturers, talk to the students and to run a non-traditional campaign,” according to McClatchy.
But the real star power on this year’s ticket will be Abrams who is running for the governorship she barely lost to Republican Brian Kemp in 2018, a stinging defeat for the outsized activist and sore loser who has never conceded the race.
I’m running for Governor because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background or access to power. #gapol
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) December 1, 2021
Abrams, who as a college student, once burned a state flag on the steps of the Georgia Capitol wisely chose to stay away from Biden when he traveled to Atlanta on Martin Luther King Jr. Day where he engaged in angry demagoguery by likening those who opposed the “voting rights” legislation that would effectively strip red states of the ability to run their own elections to civil rights villain Bull Connor and Confederate leader Jefferson Davis while conveniently omitting the key fact that both men were Democrats.
Despite her refusal to lose gracefully, Abrams is a Democrat rock star who the media swoons over and party strategists are hoping that that her allure over the party’s base along with a Trump backed primary challenge of Kemp by former U.S. Sen. David Perdue that could result in a schism with Republicans will help to grease the rails to the governor’s mansion for her.
McClatchy quotes Mercer University political science professor Chris Grant who said, “The divisions between the Trump wing and the rest of the Republican Party are deep and may be more profound in Georgia than in almost any other state in the country,”
Also in Abrams’ favor is that it’s likely that most voters will have forgotten her role in bullying Major League Baseball to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta last year, a move that cost local businesses tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
While Abrams’ national profile and possible divisions in Republican ranks will likely work to her advantage, some believe that it will be a tougher sales job for Warnock.
Chris Hartline, the communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee is quoted by McClatchy, “People may like Warnock, but the reality is that he’s not representing where the people of Georgia are,” he said . “He’s just an easy yes vote for Joe Biden and Democrat leadership in Washington, and one year in and with no signs of anything changing, we have an economy that’s still flagging, we have inflation that’s hurting working-class voters in Georgia, we have crime surging, particularly in Atlanta.”
One thing is for sure and that is that despite his growing unpopularity, Biden will be at the forefront of campaigning for both and will be taking his race-baiting schtick to the next level.
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