What Georgia Should Teach Democrats

What+Georgia+Should+Teach+Democrats

Jadyn Gelfand, Staff Writer

On January 5th Georgia, a relatively reliable Republican state since 2000, elected two Democrats: Reverend Raphael Warnock, the state’s first Black senator, and Jon Ossoff, its first Jewish senator. This also comes after Georgia and its 16 electoral votes went to Joe Biden after previously going to Donald Trump in 2016.

After taking a well-deserved moment to savor that triumph, Democrats must begin to understand how this was able to happen. Then, they should take what was learned in Georgia and apply it to the rest of the country.

The first lesson that the Democratic party should take from Georgia is that Black voters are not to be ignored. 93% of Black voters supported Democrats in Georgia, and they make up 33% of the Georgia population. 83% of Black voters lean towards Democrats, and they make up 13% of the United States population. Democrats would be fools to not try to turn out Black voters on a nationwide level.

Next, Democrats should attribute a large part of their success to former Georgia Rep. Stacey Abrams, who was a powerful force in increasing voter turnout this year. She went to low turn-out areas to register voters and rebuke disinformation.

She also founded the New Georgia Project, a voter-registration program, and successfully registered more than 100,000 voters. Democrats should learn from Georgia that Stacey Abrams and her ability to get people to vote is a worthy investment.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Democrats should learn from Georgia that minorities can win, and bigotry can lose. Often the cry that a certain candidate should not be run is heard, as the homophobes or antisemites or racists or sexists or et cetera will not vote for them.

Yet in Georgia, we saw a Black man defeat a woman who took pictures with white supremacists, and we saw a Jewish man beat the incumbent who stereotyped him by lengthening his nose in an ad. While it is certainly true that bigoted voters exist, that does not mean that Democrats should not vote for minorities in primaries in an effort to court those voters. They must have confidence in this country and its citizens.

Overall, Georgia has a lot to teach Democrats. From the importance of Black votes to Stacey Abrams and her activism with increasing voter turnout, Georgia has shown that Democrats, especially minority Democratic candidates, can win races in historically Republican states.

Democrats should not let these lessons go in one ear and out the other.