Recently, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams discussed her 2018 gubernatorial election loss, continuing to stoke allegations of voter suppression against her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, while asserting, “I won.”
“I feel comfortable now saying, ‘I won.’” said Abrams, who said that while she “could not prove what happened,” she believes “something happened” in regards to voter fraud.
When pressed, Abrams continued, “I legally acknowledge that Brian Kemp secured a sufficient number of votes under our existing system to become the governor of Georgia,” but added, “I do not concede that the process was proper, nor do I condone that process.”
Abrams went on to add,”I have sufficient, and I think legally sufficient, doubt about the [election] process to say that it was not a fair election.”
While Abrams enjoyed a boost in popularity immediately following the 2018 midterms, and was seen by many Democrats as a viable 2020 presidential or vice presidential candidate, her popularity has dropped rapidly in recent months.
Democrat Stacey Abrams said she is comfortable saying “I won” the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election because “something happened” regarding voter suppression to push Republican Brian Kemp to victory.
In an interview with New York Times Magazine, Abrams said she continues to claim victory because of the “totality of information” about the election and also because she transformed the Georgia electorate. Abrams lost by nearly 55,000 votes to Kemp in the closest Georgia governor’s race in decades, but she earned nearly 50,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton did in the state in 2016 and won more votes than any Democrat in state history.
However, she has continued to claim the race was stolen from her through voter suppression tactics by Kemp, who was secretary of state before being elected governor.
“Is there any fear on your part that using that kind of language fans the same flames that President Trump has fanned about delegitimizing our elections?” reporter David Marchese asked.
“I see those as very different,” Abrams said. “Trump is alleging voter fraud, which suggests that people were trying to vote more than once. Trump offers no empirical evidence to meet his claims. I make my claims based on empirical evidence, on a demonstrated pattern of behavior that began with the fact that the person I was dealing with was running the election. If you look at my immediate reaction after the election, I refused to concede. It was largely because I could not prove what had happened, but I knew from the calls that we got that something happened. Now, I cannot say that everybody who tried to cast a ballot would’ve voted for me, but if you look at the totality of the information, it is sufficient to demonstrate that so many people were disenfranchised and disengaged by the very act of the person who won the election that I feel comfortable now saying, ‘I won.’”
“My larger point is, look, I won because we transformed the electorate, we turned out people who had never voted, we outmatched every Democrat in Georgia history. But voter suppression is endemic, and it’s having a corrosive effect. If we do not resolve this problem, it will harm us all.”
“It’s one thing to say you lost that election unfairly, and it’s another to say you won because you increased voter turnout. But can you clarify for me exactly what you’re implying when you say you ‘won’ that election?” Marchese asked.
“There are three things: No. 1, I legally acknowledge that Brian Kemp secured a sufficient number of votes under our existing system to become the governor of Georgia,” Abrams said. “I do not concede that the process was proper, nor do I condone that process. No. 2, I believe we won in that we transformed the electorate and achieved a dramatic increase in turnout. It was a systemic and, I think, sustainable change in the composition of the electorate and in the transformation of the narrative about Georgia and Georgia politics. Three, I have no empirical evidence that I would have achieved a higher number of votes. However, I have sufficient and I think legally sufficient doubt about the process to say that it was not a fair election.”