Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia state legislative leader-turned-voting rights activist who is now the Democratic nominee for governor in her state, outraised incumbent Republican Brian Kemp by millions of dollars in the third quarter with about a month left until Election Day.
Abrams ran against Kemp four years ago, when he first secured his current role — in which he infamously resisted pressure from Trump and allies of his to meddle with the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, leading to an unsuccessful Trump-backed GOP primary challenge tied to Donald’s stewing outrage. Polling, although always technically imperfect, shows the Abrams campaign behind Kemp by an average in the low to middle single digits, and as the respective candidates prepare for the election, Abrams is running far ahead in fundraising across her campaign and PAC, per Axios. She raised $36.3 million in the third quarter, the outlet reports. Kemp’s total at his campaign and PAC for the third quarter was $28.7 million, Axios also reported, putting Abrams nearly $8 million ahead and mirroring strong Democratic fundraising in numerous races around the country.
In terms of fundraising, one of the best-performing federal candidates anywhere in the country during this year’s midterms is Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), so it seems the trends underlying those developments are also benefiting the Abrams campaign, although Abrams is running significantly behind Kemp in terms of cash on hand, meaning available money. That stat seemingly suggests her campaign is spending what it’s raising at a considerable rate. As for the polling, Axios notes the “Abrams campaign has consistently taken issue with how many polls have been conducted, arguing they can’t accurately predict the November electorate in a volatile year.” It’s worth noting public polling in a recently held special election in New York got the outcome completely wrong. Not a single publicly released survey showed Democratic candidate Pat Ryan winning, per FiveThirtyEight’s catalog of polls. He won anyway, and he’s now in Congress.
In Georgia’s other marquee statewide election unfolding this year, which is pitting Warnock against Trump-backed GOP challenger Herschel Walker, polling also shows a close race, although Warnock fares somewhat better than Abrams in polls. A recent SurveyUSA poll, from a pollster FiveThirtyEight rates with an “A,” indicating a high level of confidence, found Warnock up by double digits. Whoever wins this year’s gubernatorial race in the state will help control Georgia policy regarding critical issues like abortion and voting rights for the next four years. Although Kemp refused to help try to undo the 2020 results, he subsequently approved restrictive new rules around elections, including changes to the process of mail-in voting, that didn’t respond to real-world issues but were poised to make voting more difficult.