Allies of Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams are blaming voters for her continued poll struggles in a November rematch with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
Abrams is trailing Kemp by five points in the RealClearPolitics average, four years after she lost to the then-secretary of state by 1.4 points. Abrams has punctuated her campaign with a series of gaffes, most notably her decision to pose for pictures without a face covering alongside a group of masked elementary schoolers. (RELATED: Stacey Abrams Campaign Scrambles To Do Damage Control Following Maskless Image With Children)
“Ms. Abrams is a Black woman contending with sexist stereotypes about leadership,” people close to Abrams reportedly said, according to The New York Times. “She is also running against an incumbent governor with a well-built political apparatus…”
“We have to work harder as women, as African American women,” former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said.
This quote by Abrams is stunningly politically tone deaf for a candidate looking to win in November:
“I imagine an electorate that is possible, not the electorate as if the election was held today.”
— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) September 7, 2022
Abrams led calls to boycott the state of Georgia after the legislature passed an elections security bill. She later attempted to walk back her support after Major League Baseball moved an All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
Another Democrat, Vice President Kamala Harris, also frequently blames sexism for her troubles. Amid flagging polls in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Harris asked whether “America [is] ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States.” She also suggested that her popularity struggles persist, in part, because Americans have “a lack of ability” to picture a black, female president, according to an interview with Axios on HBO.
Strategists close to Harris reportedly met in July 2021 about the best way to combat “gendered dynamics in press coverage.”
Abrams repeatedly refused to concede her 2018 loss to Kemp, blaming “voter suppression” for the more than 50,000-vote difference. “If you look at the totality of the information, it is sufficient to demonstrate that so many people were disenfranchised and disengaged by the very act of the person who won the election that I feel comfortable now saying, ‘I won,'” she said in 2019.