There is a lot of euphoria among Democrats about Stacey Abrams possibly becoming the nation’s first black female elected governor. There is also the inescapable fact that Georgia has not elected a Democrat as governor for 16 years.
So can Georgia make history on election day and put Abrams into the Georgia governor’s mansion? She says the answer is “yes” on both counts.
Abrams easily won the Georgia Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday, and now is saying that it is no longer correct to think of Georgia as a red state. She is dismissing skeptics who believe that Georgia won’t elect a Democrat as governor, let alone a black woman.
“I think we are a blue state, we’re just a little confused,” Abrams told CNN Tuesday night. “We haven’t had candidates who have done the work of really lifting up the voice.”
A recent study by The Atlantic actually gives some statistical support to Abrams’ opinion. According to this respected magazine, more and more African Americans have been moving to Georgia from the Northeast and from the Midwest, and this so-called “reverse migration” may turn Georgia into a blue state and elect Abrams as governor.
According to The Atlantic:
“Atlanta could play a big role in turning Georgia blue. It has been the epicenter of what demographers are calling the “reverse Great Migration,” a trend that is seeing black people whose great-grandparents may have moved up north for better job opportunities during the Jim Crow era, move back south. The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metro area gained 251,000 black people between 2010 and 2016, which made it the metro area in the United States that added the most black people over that time period, according to William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. “The increasing black presence via continued in-migration will almost certainly help to make Georgia a swing state in future elections,’ Frey said.”
According to Abrams, this is a new era for Georgia politics, and this will lead to a new Democratic majority in the Deep South state. She said:
“We’re not going to win trying to put together the old guard coalition. We have a new opportunity because Georgia has changed dramatically in the last 15 years. And we know if we take advantage of that change, we can actually get to victory.”
Even though there has been a long drought for Democrats in Georgia’s statehouse, it doesn’t mean that it must continue that way. Donald Trump won Georgia but very narrowly — he only got 51% of the vote in the state in the 2016 election.
A special election in Georgia last year saw a Republican beat Democrat Jon Ossoff, but only by a very close margin in a heavily Republican district.
Stacey Abrams won a Democratic primary running as a progressive, which has sent a message to other progressive candidates around the country that they can win elections without compromising their principles. The only thing left is for her to show that she can win not just a primary, but also a general election in November. If she does, she will not only be governor, she will also be making history.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.