The Democratic push to turn Georgia blue in November – and beyond — is getting another boost today with the launch of a new progressive super PAC planning to spend $2.5 million to boost turnout among young, minority voters.
Recent polling out of the state, which hasn’t gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992, shows former Vice President Joe Biden in a neck-and-neck race with President Trump. Georgia’s two US Senate seats, currently held by Republicans, are also on the ballot and facing tough Democratic challenges. (Both of those races could be headed toward January 2021 run-offs.)
“For decades, Georgia has been counted out and seen as unattainable for progressives,” Ryan Brown, who will lead New South Super PAC, said in a statement. “But the tide is changing and progressives have a very real chance at winning up and down the ballot if we speak to and invest in the right voters.”
There is a rush of Democratic money coming into Georgia right now as the presidential and Senate polls tighten, but Brown said his group planned to be in it for the long haul – as Democrats try to secure and expand on their gains.
“In Georgia, two Senate races are up for grabs, we have the opportunity to clinch the election for Biden and Harris, and we can flip the state house heading into the crucial redistricting,” Brown said. “Both the stakes and the possibilities of the Georgia elections this year warrant our attention and this large-scale investment.”
The 2020 contests follow a 2018 gubernatorial race that saw Republican Gov. Brian Kemp scratch out a narrow victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams, who fell short by a little more than 50,000 votes in a campaign marred by allegations of voter suppression.
But Abrams emerged as a national Democratic star and the party — in a state where Trump’s approval ratings are routinely split — is now working to forge a coalition comprising liberal-leaning low-propensity voters, its moderate base and disaffected Republicans.
The early voting numbers out of Georgia this week suggest the 2020 contests will not suffer for a lack of enthusiasm. More than 126,000 ballots were cast on Monday, the first day of early voting, up from about 91,000 on the same occasion in 2016.