Electoral Math Is Holding Thanks to the Black Vote, and the Dems Owe a Great Debt to Stacey Abrams

Electoral math is holding. Joe Biden has taken the lead in Georgia. He is up by 1,584 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

Last night, Senator Chris Coons told MSNBC that Stacey Abrams brought a plan to him six years ago to flip Georgia blue: “We’ve got a very strong ground game in Georgia because of the leadership of Stacey Abrams,” Coons said.

An observation I came across earlier that I’ll repeat here: “Georgia isn’t necessarily a red state. It’s a voter-suppressed state.”

Although Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has announced there will be a recount (and there are still military and provisional ballots left to count), there is no doubt that the situation in Georgia has dramatically altered the electoral calculus as we know it.

The black vote is carrying Georgia much like it carried Michigan and Wisconsin.

“Black voters overwhelmingly backed the Democratic candidate by a margin of 87% to Donald Trump’s 12%,” according to a Guardian analysis of exit poll data. 

They are bringing this race home much like how they started to do for the Democratic Party in the 1930s and eventually did by the 1960s as collective action forced the Democrats to make advancing civil rights a major part of their platform and legislative agenda.

It is no accident that we are seeing a repeat of this now, in the twilight of a presidency long criticized for targeting minorities and for courting white supremacists. The United States is reckoning with its original sin—slavery—because history repeats itself when we don’t perk up our ears, listen, and work to address the inequities it’s recorded.

A crucial voting bloc is fighting back against this country’s long and sordid history of voter suppression; of literacy tests, gerrymandering, and poll taxes. And because of them, electoral math is holding.

Abrams largely lost a closely-watched Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018 due to voter suppression. She responded by registering hundreds of thousands of black voters in her state and took her efforts across the country. The Democratic Party owes her an enormous debt that they would be wise to honor in the coming years should they wish to retain congressional and executive power.

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