Former state legislator and current voting rights activist Stacey Abrams will be appearing on the campaign trail this coming Sunday on behalf of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former governor of Virginia who is currently running to once more take on that position. Although Virginia has leaned towards Democrats in recent elections — the last Republican presidential nominee to win the state was George W. Bush — polls have shown the race between McAuliffe and his Republican challenger, Glenn Youngkin, to be close. Abrams and McAuliffe are set to participate in a “Souls to the Polls” event in Norfolk, Virginia. The event is meant to encourage voter turnout.
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) October 11, 2021
McAuliffe and Abrams will also be appearing at a grassroots event together. Although Abrams’s last campaign for elected office was in 2018, when she ran for the Georgia governorship against Republican Brian Kemp, she has remained in the national spotlight, in part thanks to her voter outreach work. More recently, Abrams has also been a prominent proponent of enacting new protections for voting rights in Congress. At a recent rally appearance, former President Trump mockingly said that Abrams might be a better governor than Kemp, with whom the ex-president has been angry because of his supposed failures to act decisively against the non-existent election fraud that Trump claims cost him the election. Abrams responded by expertly dismissing Trump’s stance as “irrelevant.”
Predictably, Republicans have lashed out against Abrams’s advocacy on behalf of the McAuliffe campaign. Republican Governors Association spokesperson Maddie Anderson complained that McAuliffe’s “latest act of desperation is to call in Stacey Abrams, who has yet to concede her 2018 loss” to Kemp. In reality, Abrams’s qualms about the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race in which she ran are distinct from the nonsense that Trump has put out. She does not allege that widespread, systematic fraud was present — instead, she points to voter suppression concerns. Unlike the election fraud fairy tales that Trump promotes, Abrams’s concerns are based in reality.
Unlike most other states, Virginia’s gubernatorial election is taking place this year, allowing for an early look at voters’ moods ahead of the more sweeping midterm elections. Notably, California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom recently roundly trounced an effort to vote him out of office, winning the support of almost 62 percent of voters in an election that asked whether he should be recalled, meaning removed from office. In other words, the inclinations of millions of American voters firmly away from the party of insurrection and turmoil remain prominently visible.