(The Center Square) — Georgia’s gubernatorial race is in the home stretch, as Democrat Stacey Abrams and Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, face off in a rematch of the 2018 race.
Democrats have blamed Kemp for the closure of Atlanta Medical Center, accused the governor of trying to buy votes using federal COVID-19 relief money and criticized his stance on abortion and guns.
“From helping Georgians save on monthly expenses like education, health care, and housing, to expanding Medicaid for hundreds of thousands, to fighting to repeal Kemp’s extreme abortion ban and permitless carry law, Stacey has plans and priorities to make Georgia safer, freer, and more prosperous for all of us,” U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, said in a statement after a Sunday debate.
Republicans have countered that Abrams is weak on crime, argued that her economic policies would hurt the state and say she is out of touch with Georgians.
“Brian Kemp not only shows up for Georgians but fights for them. He has kept our economy going in the face of the back-to-back catastrophes of the worldwide pandemic and Joe Biden,” Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer said in a statement after a Sunday debate. “He has fought to keep us safe in the face of rapidly rising crime.”
An Emerson College poll released Thursday shows Kemp has a comfortable lead over Abrams in the gubernatorial race. It also revealed a statistical tie in Georgia’s U.S. Senate race between U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
Georgia continues to see record-breaking voter turnout during the early voting period, as nearly 1.9 million voters cast their ballots early, including 134,318 on Wednesday. As of the 17th day of early voting in 2018, nearly 1.5 million voters had cast a ballot, state officials said.
“By close of business [on Thursday], two million Georgians will have cast their ballot in person – a record for Early Voting in a midterm,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said in a statement. “Georgia is the state where voters show up early, and our county election directors have created that infrastructure to make it a resounding success.”
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor