Even as votes were still being counted in the state of Georgia the first time around, Stacey Abrams was being hailed in media/Democrat circles as the tireless hero who may have flipped her state blue in the presidential election.

Here were some of the headlines:

If you look on YouTube, there are scores of video clips from media outlets touting her work in allegedly giving 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden the edge at the polls in Georgia.

For example, CBS News reported that Abrams “is receiving widespread praise for her efforts to get out the minority vote in her state, which played a key role in the 2020 presidential race.” The Washington Post reported on “how a once reliably red Georgia underwent a political transformation in 2020 due to the work of former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.”

The New York Times even credited Abrams for “inspiring” an astonishing 800,000 people to register to vote:

As did NBC News, who made this claim about Abrams’ “Fair Fight” organization:

https://youtu.be/Tyq1luSKrmg

The problem here is the hard data doesn’t back up the various media-driven narratives that Stacey Abrams’ GOTV efforts – which are focused almost exclusively on getting African-Americans registered to vote and out to the polls – were ultimately what “turned Georgia blue” (if the current numbers hold).

Case in point, this thread (and article) from the NYT’s “Upshot” polling/data analyst Nate Cohn:

What also needs to be factored in when talking about Georgia elections is that, as has also been the case in North Carolina, they have been getting more competitive over the last decade or so, thanks not so much to Stacey Abrams but the state’s growing population and changing demographics. This includes the people who move to southern states to escape high-tax states up north – many of who then promptly turn around and vote for the same types of Democratic politicians who drive up the cost of living, which forces residents out.

Those types of voters have been moving to North Carolina as well, which has changed the political landscape here over the last several elections – all with no prominent Stacey Abrams-type GOTV “motivator.”

Also, the reports from the media about how Abrams was supposedly responsible for registering 800,000 voters are ridiculous:

Here’s what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote last month about Georgia’s voter registration numbers:

There are now a record 7.6 million registered voters in Georgia, according to voter registration rolls obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the secretary of state’s office after the Oct. 5 registration deadline.

[…]

Automatic voter registration when Georgians get their driver’s licenses greatly contributed to the addition of nearly 1 million voters.

[…]

Facts about Georgia’s voters:

Over 7.6 million people are registered to vote, a record high.
Automatic voter registration has led to an increase of almost 1 million Georgia voters since 2016.

We’re supposed to believe “Fair Fight,” which Abrams formed in late 2018 after losing the gubernatorial race, is responsible for registering 800,000 of those voters? I don’t think so.

While I don’t think it’s arguable that Stacey Abrams helped increase voting numbers in Georgia to a certain extent, proclaiming her as the hero of the 2020 presidential race in Georgia is overstating it quite a bit. It doesn’t mean Georgia Republicans should underestimate her heading into the January 5th Senate runoff races; it just means that some perspective is needed when discussing what Abrams has and has not done.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

 

 
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