According to NBC News, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp won reelection after defeating Democrat Stacey Abrams in the pair’s second debate.
Throughout the campaign, Kemp had regularly held a lead over strategist and former state House minority leader Abrams of more over 5 percentage points in polls. Kemp had a clear advantage this year because he was the incumbent governor and had an above-average approval rating, in contrast to their previous election where Abrams lost by 1.4 percentage points.
After losing to Kemp, Abrams spent the subsequent four years supporting other Democrats in their bids for public office, bringing the topic of voting rights to the fore of the national discourse. In 2020, Georgia voters supported President Joe Biden and elected Democrats to both U.S. Senate seats.
The state’s secretary of state, who oversees elections, received a phone from then-President Donald Trump asking him to “find” enough votes to give Trump the victory. State officials, including Kemp, defied Trump’s orders and angered him by certifying Biden’s victory in Georgia’s electoral college.
In the primary earlier this year, Trump actively and unsuccessfully campaigned against Kemp, endorsing former U.S. Sen. David Perdue in his place.
Republicans have spent the previous four years demonising Abrams in the eyes of moderate voters, despite the fact that she played a crucial role in Georgia’s national 2020 tilt to the blue.
In the months leading up to the election, Republicans across the country saw the tide turn in their favour as voters prioritised the economy and inflation over topics like abortion and defending democracy. When Abrams said that abortion was an economic issue on MSNBC two weeks before the election, she received criticism.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June, which overturned Roe v. Wade, Democrats had hoped that reproductive rights would increase voter turnout. Georgia already has a problem with abortion. State legislators attempted to outlaw abortions in 2019 when a foetal heartbeat is discovered, which occurs at roughly five or six weeks. A judge overruled it while citing Roe