By Christian Smith
Midterm races in Georgia represent a test of Democrats' strategy to win back states from President Trump in 2020 and counter his conservative populism with their own unabashedly progressive appeal.
"When you talk to Democratic strategists, Georgia really is right at the top of that list," said Eric Boehm, a reporter at Reason. "Democrats are looking at Georgia as one of those places where they can make inroads against that electoral map that President Donald Trump won."
On Tuesday, Stacey Abrams won Georgia's Democratic primary for governor, becoming the first black woman to be nominated for governor by a major political party. With more than 75 percent of the vote, Abrams, a former statehouse leader, defeated another former state rep in the Battle of the Staceys ー Stacey Evans.
Abrams will face the winner of a Republican runoff between Georgia's Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp scheduled for July 24.
During her primary campaign, Abrams signaled she would not water down her progressive message in an attempt to court white conservatives away from Republicans. She has said she would raise the minimum wage, use Affordable Care Act funding to expand Medicaid, and do away with cash bail. The success or failure of her strategy could change the way Democrats approach Trump voters in 2020.
The midterm battles may have grown more difficult for Democrats recently. For the first time in the midterm election cycle, American voters are more likely to vote for the Republican candidate in their district than the Democrat according to a new Reuters poll.
If elected, the 44-year-old Abrams would become the first black woman elected governor in the United States, and only the third black governor elected by popular vote after Douglas Wilder in Virginia in 1990, and Massachusetts's Deval Patrick in 2007.
Pinckney Pinchback became governor of Louisiana in 1872 after serving as lieutenant governor, and David Paterson was elevated from lieutenant governor in New York in 2008, but neither was elected governor.
For full interview, click here.