Abrams-Kemp Slugfest promises to be long, expensive and ugly

Georgia voters were not spared from the election talk the day following the Tuesday primary, in which Republican Gov. Brian Kemp defeated GOP challenger David Perdue, and Democrat Stacey Abrams finally clinched the nomination.

Abrams-Kemp Slugfest promises to be long, expensive and ugly

Georgia voters were not spared from the election talk the day following the Tuesday primary, in which Republican Gov. Brian Kemp defeated GOP challenger David Perdue, and Democrat Stacey Abrams finally clinched the nomination. She was waiting after no other members her party jumped in.

The Republican Governors Association was a key contributor in Kemp's victory and launched Wednesday's television ad attacking Abrams. The state Democratic Party also announced that it would launch a coordinated campaign to win victories for Abrams, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, and other candidates in November.

These were the opening moves for what is going to be a tough race for a governor's seat between Abrams & Kemp. Ryan Mahoney, Republican strategist, estimated that it could cost $250 million after other groups have finished spending.

Kemp's romp in which he won almost 75% of Republican votes despite Trump's support for Perdue made headlines around the world as proof that Republicans can defy Trump while thriving. With her 2018 defeat to Kemp, and subsequent advocacy for voting rights, Abrams, who was once unknown, rose to the first rank of national Democrats.

Kemp wants to tie Abrams and President Joe Biden in this rematch. He also seeks to drag her down by the weight of Democratic president's unpopularity.

Abrams-Kemp Slugfest promises to be long, expensive and ugly

By JEFF AMY

Today

This combination image shows Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Tuesday, May 24, 2022 in Atlanta. Georgia Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams Dec. 16, 2021 in Decatur, Ga. The Georgia governor's race between Republican incumbent Kemp, and Democratic challenger Abrams promises a fierce battle that will only increase the state's politically charged environment. (AP Photo)

This combination image shows Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Tuesday, May 24, 2022 in Atlanta. Georgia Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams Dec. 16, 2021 in Decatur, Ga. The Georgia governor's race between Republican incumbent Kemp, and Democratic challenger Abrams promises a fierce battle that will only increase the state's politically charged environment. (AP Photo)

ATLANTA (AP), Georgia voters did not get much time to relax after Tuesday's primary in which Republican Gov. Brian Kemp defeated GOP challenger David Perdue, and Democrat Stacey Abrams finally clinched the nomination. She was waiting after no other members her party jumped in.

Wednesday's television ad was launched by the Republican Governors Association, which was a major contributor to Kemp’s victory. The state Democratic Party also announced that it would launch a coordinated campaign to win victories for Abrams, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, and other candidates in November.

These were the opening moves for what is going to be a tough race for a governor's seat between Abrams & Kemp. Ryan Mahoney, Republican strategist, estimated that it could cost $250 million after other groups have finished spending.

Kemp's romp in which he won almost 75% of Republican votes despite Trump's support for Perdue made headlines around the world as proof that Republicans can defy Trump while thriving. With her 2018 defeat to Kemp, and subsequent advocacy for voting rights, Abrams, who was once unknown, rose to the first rank of national Democrats.

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Kemp wants to tie Abrams and President Joe Biden in this rematch. He also seeks to drag her down by the weight of Democratic president's unpopularity.

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Kemp said Tuesday to his supporters, "She has accepted the disastrous Biden agenda in every single turn," during his victory speech.

Abrams, on the other hand, wants to focus the campaign only on Kemp's shortcomings. He repeated multiple times during a Tuesday news conference, that Kemp "doesn’t care about Georgians".

Perdue and Kemp together spent more than $20 million on the primary. New Georgia state law permits individuals to make unlimited contributions for Kemp and Abrams. This could lead to saturate screens filled with negativity as each attempts to ruin the reputation of the other.

Georgia politics, once sleepy and Republican-dominated, have never settled down since 2018, and the intensity is clearly driving voter interest. More than 1.9million Georgians voted in the primaries. The previous 2020 record was broken by a Republican turnout of almost 1.2 million. However, the 2018 midterm record of 700,000 was not broken by a Democratic turnout of over 700,000.

Tuesday's speech by Abrams promised to continue expanding the "most impressive apparatus for voter engagement."

Abrams stated, "This will be a costly race." Our investment is not in tit-fortat politics. It will be in making Georgia voters aware of how to vote, why they should vote, and where to vote. We're going give them a reason.

Abrams' strategy to organize marginal voters and increase their participation is based on that reason to vote.

Lauren Groh Wargo, Abrams' campaign manager, said that people don't vote because it doesn't matter or is connected to their lives.

Kemp, who won 2018 by electing Republicans in unprecedented numbers, has also promised to intensify his efforts.

Kemp stated Tuesday that "We had to knock on doors like never before." We made more phone calls. "We were able to speak to more of our friends, and to our neighbors."

Abrams could have benefited from a more chaotic Republican primary. Kemp's win means that there won't need to be a costly June runoff, and that Kemp doesn’t seem to have the same grievous wounds primary challenges can inflict on winners. Kemp was forced to spend millions in the primary, which drove him further to his right. He pushed through a bill to repeal the permit required to carry concealed handguns in public.

Kemp's decision not to give up on Perdue in the runoff was a way to consolidate his Republican support. Each Republican who voted in Kemp was one who disapproved of Trump's governorship, which may make them less likely not to vote for Kemp even if Trump attacks Kemp.

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