Abrams has headlined more than a dozen events in recent weeks geared toward mobilizing voters of color as some polls show a lag in support for her campaign among Black Georgians, typically the party’s most reliable bloc of voters.
Kemp, meanwhile, is trying to expand his political map by stepping up appeals to Black voters and those living in the suburbs — constituencies he largely bypassed in 2018 — to force Abrams to play more defense.
Obama also offers Warnock an important ally as he continues to steer clear of President Joe Biden, whose approval ratings hover at 38% in Georgia. While Abrams has embraced the president — and campaigned Friday in Atlanta with the first lady — Warnock declined to say at Friday’s debate whether he wanted Biden to run for a second term.
And the former president will aim to boost down-ticket candidates who are trying to close the gap in polls against GOP candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and other races.
It won’t be the first time Obama offered state Democrats a shot in the arm at a crucial moment. In 2018, he drew thousands of supporters to Morehouse College’s campus to boost Abrams and other statewide Democratic candidates days before the election.
And Obama campaigned for Warnock and Jon Ossoff on the eve of the 2020 election, pleading with disillusioned left-leaning voters who have “lost faith in government” to cast their ballots that year. Their victories in the 2021 runoff gave Democrats control of the Senate.
“Georgia could be the state. Georgia could be the place where we put this country back on track,” Obama said at the 2020 outdoor rally. “And not just because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a chance to win Georgia. But you’ve got the chance to flip two Senate seats.”
Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com