First, let’s get one fact out of the way: It’s hard AF to get a Black person elected as governor in this country.
On Tuesday, Wes Moore made history by becoming the very first Black person to be elected as governor of Maryland. But the statistic that’s even more telling is the one that shows he’s only the third Black person to be elected as governor of any state in U.S. history. In other words—nobody should be surprised Stacey Abrams lost to incumbent Brian Kemp in Georgia’s gubernatorial race.
In fact, Abrams‘ loss, unfortunate though it may be, provides an opportunity to dispel a loud and wrong narrative that prevailed throughout much of her campaign. The idea that Abrams was losing ground with the Black community, and Black men, in particular, turned out as false as the notion that Black male voters would be instrumental in getting Abrams elected.
For example, Run The Jewels rapper and Great Value political commentator Killer Mike suggested that Abrams—a woman who was instrumental in galvanizing democratic Georgia voters in 2020—was not doing enough to attract Black men. Mike even praised Kemp for “running an effective campaign” with Black voters, despite the fact that Kemp’s only connection to the Black vote appears to be his enthusiasm for making them disappear.
Unsurprisingly, the exit polls tell a different story.
The polls show that Black people—who represent just over 31% of Georgia’s population and 28% of those who voted—represented 90% of those who voted for Stacey Abrams. Over 80% percent of Black men voted for the woman who was supposedly losing ground with her Black male voting bloc.
Here’s another completely uninteresting and unsurprising “water is wet” fact: Kemp won because white Georgians overwhelmingly voted for him. As usual, white people were the only racial demographic majority to vote Republican in the 2022 midterms (outside of American Indians, who represent 1% of voters). And that was also the case in Georgia’s gubernatorial race.
So, maybe the truth is Abrams’ loss was inevitable because, despite Georgia voting in a democratic president and flipping a couple of Senate seats in 2022, the Peach State is still very white and very red at heart. I mean, Atlanta metro can’t do it all on its own, after all.