Aug 5, 2022 - News

Stacey Abrams' bet on abortion and guns

Stacey Abrams sitting next to other women
Stacey Abrams holds a discussion Wednesday in Atlanta with women impacted by miscarriages. Photo: Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In her race to defeat incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams is leaning into a bet: that abortion rights and gun regulations will motivate voters to send her to the Georgia governor's mansion.

Driving the news: Just in the last week, the cancellation of Atlanta's Music Midtown festival and an electoral win for Kansas abortion rights with high Democratic turnout (that Abrams hopes to replicate) have galvanized her focus on the two issues.

Why it matters: This year Abrams is facing political headwinds from inflation and President Biden's low approval ratings.

  • But her campaign is undergirding their argument that Kemp is out of step with the majority of Georgians who support abortion rights and who did not approve of his move to loosen gun laws.

State of play: Abrams just released another attack ad targeting Kemp on his abortion stance. It joins two others in her multimillion-dollar statewide ad buy rotation, the negative ads of which have almost entirely focused on gun control and abortion rights.

Zoom in: In a Thursday memo Abrams' campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo argued that Kansas' results bode well for Georgia Democrats. She pointed to a surge in Kansas Democratic turnout in an otherwise sleepy primary, as well as an estimated at least 17% of Republican voters there who voted for abortion access.

  • "Georgia is notably far more Democratic and progressive than Kansas," she wrote.

The other side: Kemp campaign spokesperson Tate Mitchell said in a statement that while Abrams campaigns on a platform "that will only divide Georgians and hit their pocketbooks, Gov. Kemp will stay focused on helping Georgians fight through 40-year high inflation and the recession brought on by the Biden-Abrams agenda."

Yes, and: Abrams has also leaned in on gun regulation following the news that an issue involving event organizers and Georgia's gun laws forced the cancellation of Music Midtown.

The big picture: Abrams has emphasized her point that these two social issues are also economic ones. After the Music Midtown news Abrams framed it as: Kemp "cares more about protecting dangerous people carrying guns in public than saving jobs and keeping business in Georgia."

The intrigue: Adding to Abrams' argument has been the chorus of Democratic governors around the country, including North Carolina's and Nevada's soliciting Music Midtown to move there.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom offered to extend tax credits to film and television productions that "come home to the Golden State" to escape states like Georgia's anti-abortion policy.

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to show a majority (not all) of Abrams' negative ads have focused on gun control and abortion rights.

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