Over the course of three days, the DNC and the Democratic Party of Georgia showed why Georgia is a major defensive liability for Republicans and a battleground they’ll have to defend — highlighting the state’s rapidly changing demographics, Democrats’ efforts to counter voter suppression, and how Trump’s record is toxic with the state’s independent voters.
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A changing population, strong performances from Democrats in U.S. House, statehouse and statewide races, and increased attention from national voter groups has Democrats hopeful they can flip the traditionally red state blue in 2020.
“I can’t think of a better place to showcase the Democratic field in one of the most diverse cities in this critical battleground state,” Perez said in a statement provided to USA TODAY.
The chairman of the Democratic National Committee took aim at voter suppression during a summit in Atlanta hours before the city was to host his party’s presidential candidate debate. Tom Perez blasted Georgia’s Republican leadership Wednesday and what he described as restrictive practices at the polls.
Perez also took verbal shots at President Donald Trump, calling him “the most dangerous president in American history.”
Abrams delivered her remarks as she kicked off a panel discussion about voter suppression across the country and in Georgia and its disproportionate impact on disabled voters and non-white voters. … That was the focus of the panel discussion, moderated by the Democratic Party of Georgia’s Saira Draper and Andrea S. Young with the Democratic National Committee.
All of this points to the fact that the Democratic National Committee is holding a debate in a place where it is possible to see both the power of aspiration and the obstacles to realizing it.
Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist who is based in Atlanta and was the National Southern Regional Director for Barack Obama’s reëlection campaign, told me, “The D.N.C. is putting their resources in a state and, particularly, a city that they believe can be part of the equation for a Democratic nominee to get to two hundred and seventy electoral votes.”
Georgia’s Democratic Party Chair Nikima Williams says the eventual Democratic nominee for president of the United States can win Georgia, if they put in the work.
“I’m looking towards the 2020 election, but we did not stop what we did in Georgia in 2018,” Williams said. “We’re only building up on the energy and everything that Stacey Abrams built in the state and we continued that energy into 2019. We didn’t take 2019 as an off-year-election. We continue to build upon that and pick up municipal races along the way. So as we conclude the 2019 election cycle, we’re looking towards 2020 and how we can engage our constituency groups and Georgia Democrats across the state, so we can move into 2020 turn Georgia a bright blue.”
“Because here in Georgia you really have written the book, unfortunately, your Republican leadership on voter suppression. Whether it’s the identical name requirements, I’m Thomas E. Perez, if my voting says Thomas Perez, you are prepared to throw me off the rolls here in Georgia because it did not have the ‘E’ — that’s just wrong folks,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez.
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“I want a fair fight. I want to make sure we have a battle in the marketplace of ideas. We’re going to continue to make those investments so we can win all across the state and up and down the ballot,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez.
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“Former Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams is out talking about voter suppression. She was part of a panel discussion yesterday in a series of Democrat-hosted events ahead of the debate.”
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“I’m looking forward to our candidates being on stage tomorrow night and addressing how they would combat voter suppression here in our state to make sure that what happened in 2018, never happens again,” said DPG Chair Nikema Williams.
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IT'S A MOVEMENT