Stacey Abrams Is Ready to Be VP. She Might Be Just What the 2020 Race Needs
Her openness to a VP spot and continued fight against voter suppression offer some hope
Stacey Abrams only lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race by 54,801 votes. The number of voter registrations that Brian Kemp, Abrams’ opponent, suppressed in 2017 when he was Georgia’s secretary of state and decided to play both referee and player in the gubernatorial race is 700,000. While Abrams was busy tripling voter turnout in the Latinx and Asian Pacific Islander communities, Kemp busied himself with stuffing their voter registrations into a wastebasket.
The reality is Abrams should be governor right now, but until someone decides to stop Republicans from cheating and lying their way into power, we will continue to see these “razor-thin” margins. Through her dogged persistence on the issue of voter suppression and her initial refusal to concede to Kemp, Abrams has signaled that she is in fact the person to save our democracy from itself.
While many of us were waiting with bated breath for the new rock star of the Democratic party to announce that she would indeed throw her hat into the ring for a presidential run, Abrams had other plans. Instead of running in the presidential election, she decided she was going to do everything within her power to save our electoral process. Following her loss in Georgia, her new followers were ready for another run — but what use is running if the field is slanted? What difference does it make to continue to run for office if not everyone’s vote is going to be counted? For the next 15 months, Abrams and her organization, Fair Fight, will work to make sure that the 2020 election is a fair one. This may not have been the announcement we were hoping for, but it is the one our democracy needs right now.
Abrams also made another announcement that has ears perked up — she said in an interview that she would be open to the number two spot by “any nominee.”
Yes, the queen of the voting ballot is not only working overtime to beat back aggressive voter suppression and blatant foreign interference, but she has indicated that she would also be open to being America’s first Black woman vice president.
There are two candidates in particular who should be taking notice — former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. A recent Fox News poll has these candidates comfortably positioned in the top two spots. While Biden’s hold has remained in double digits ahead of the field, he has begun to slip in recent weeks. Warren, on the other hand, has been on a steady climb since she announced.
Black voters comprise more than 20% of Democratic primary voters, which means no Democrat can win office without the Black vote.
The reports on Biden’s stamina and gaffes have reached a fever pitch in some circles. Has he stumbled over words? Sure, but at least he doesn’t tell an average of 13 lies a day like the current occupant of the White House. If you remember, there were reports many months ago before he announced that Biden was thinking about announcing with Abrams. Those reports were found to be false, but no less intriguing.
She would provide his campaign with the vitamin B12 boost it so desperately needs. Not only does Abrams know the Deep South, she knows how to get people to the polls and her energy is boundless. Biden’s campaign is currently looking for ways to tamper down his travel and participation in events — all that does is to help play into Trump’s “sleepy Joe” insult. The energy and excitement of Abrams could go far in turning things around and settling the collective anxiety that’s being written about.
One very important thing that Biden is holding over Warren right now is his strong standing with Black voters. In an early August Quinnipiac poll, Biden was at a whopping 53% among Black voters. That number has slid a bit, but it remains light-years away from the rest of the field, namely Warren, who is polling at 2%.
Black voters comprise more than 20% of Democratic primary voters, which means no Democrat can win office without the Black vote. Now, while Warren has created multiple plans for the Black community like closing the racial wealth gap, reducing the maternal mortality rate for Black mothers, and investing in HBCUs, her number just won’t budge. Abrams being added to her ticket, should Warren make it to the mountaintop, would do wonders for her chances.
Warren’s plans for saving our electoral system are compatible with Abrams, as she wants to make it easier for people to vote in the following ways: First, make Election Day a national holiday. Secondly, she wants to mandate automatic and same-day voter registration, and lastly, in order to remove voters, which Kemp did haphazardly in Georgia, a state would have to show explicit reason like death, change of address, or loss of eligibility.
Not only does Abrams give Black women something to hope for and provide them with the same excitement of a “Barackstar,” her progressive policies are a perfect match for the “I got a plan for that” senator. The image of these two powerhouses on a stage together is enough to give any staunch progressive goosebumps.
Abrams is the non-candidate to watch in 2020. She may have lost over 50,000 votes in Georgia, but the rest of us are more interested in another number — and that would be the number two.