A Look at Why Stacey Abrams Is Trailing

Georgia gubernatorial candidate is behind in the polls, and Black men in particular are a factor
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2022 8:35 AM CDT
One of Stacey Abrams' Big Problems: Male Voters
Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams face off in a debate in Atlanta, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022.   (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

Stacey Abrams became a political phenom four years ago when she lost the Georgia governor's race by only a whisker. If the polls are correct, however, she is poised to lose the same race again next week to the same opponent, Brian Kemp, by a bigger margin. FiveThirtyEight.com gives Kemp a 9-in-10 chance of winning, while a New York Times poll has Abrams trailing by 6 points. Why? Sites are digging in:

  • The men: The analysis at the Times points out that Kemp has a 16-point advantage with men, while Abrams has just a 5-point lead with women. More specifically, FiveThirtyEight points to "the tepid enthusiasm for her candidacy among Black men."
  • She knows: Abrams has been trying to bridge the gap with Black men in particular with a series of forums called "Stacey and the Fellas." But a quote collected by the Times from a 37-year-old Black man (whose wife backs Abrams) illustrates the perception struggle she faces: “She hasn’t made Black men a priority or have any policies that would actually help Black men or men in general,” he says. FiveThirtyEight notes that one recent survey showed Kemp getting a solid 15% of the Black vote.

  • Wrong year? At New York, Benjamin Hart wonders whether Abrams picked the wrong year to run again, given that Democrats were expected to face strong headwinds in general. However, political observer Jon Ralston cuts Abrams some slack. When she entered the race in December, Kemp's prospects of even winning the GOP primary were iffy because former President Trump came out against him. But "the way that Kemp survived that and then came out even stronger kind of says it all," says Ralston. "That’s the reason why Kemp is in the strong position he is right now."
  • From the right: Rich Lowry of the National Review says Abrams is struggling in part because of all the glowing coverage she received a few years ago. The media turned her into a "national progressive celebrity," he observes, and that doesn't fly in Georgia, where she must appeal to swing voters.
  • Still hope: It's possible Abrams can still pull this out, especially if early in-person voting and absentee ballots go her way, per FiveThirtyEight. A good sign for her is that a higher share of Black voters are turning out early compared to previous elections. In the big picture, however, "the outcome of Georgia’s gubernatorial race may come down to the fact that the environment is simply better for Kemp," in part because he has the advantage of incumbency and has proven to be a "deft politician," the site adds.
(Read more Stacey Abrams stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.