Occam’s Razor Comes to Georgia
Stacey Abrams, the leading Democratic powerbroker in Georgia, published an opinion piece in the Washington Post last week entitled, “Our democracy faced a near-death experience. Here’s how to revive it.”
In the piece, Abrams trashed Donald Trump, of course, and then laid out a list of bills she wanted to see enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden, including the “For the People Act,” the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” and the “Protect our Democracy Act.”
But wait! There’s more! She also wants statehood for the District of Columbia and “binding self-determination” for Puerto Rico.
As she wrote, “the future of democracy demands it.” Perhaps she meant, the future of the Democrats demands it.
We might recall that Abrams was her party’s nominee for governor of the Peach State in 2018; yet even after she lost the election, she refused to concede. At the time, that non-concession made her a figure of fun among Republicans, and yet nowadays she’s having the last laugh.
Indeed, just on February 12, The New York Times headlined an admiring opinion piece, “Stacey Abrams knows how to turn a red state blue.” Hundreds of similar headers have been flying across the MSM and the liberal blogosphere in recent weeks; the result, of course, is that Abrams has become a deity for Democrats. So whatever Abrams does next—most likely, run for governor again in 2022—she will have the big blessing, and the bigger money, from Blue America.
So what did Abrams do in the last three years to recover and gain all this clout? She worked hard, that’s what. She made a three-part calculation:
- The way to win is to get more votes.
- A good way to get more votes is to register more people who are likely to vote for your candidate.
- Once you have them registered, get them to vote—in person, by mail, whatever it takes.
These points may seem obvious, even trite, and yet if we step back, we can see that much of contemporary campaigning consists of activities that do not necessarily coincide with getting more votes. Such as? Such as spending money on TV ads or posting on social media. These activities are undeniably a part of campaigning, but they aren’t obviously connected to getting votes and winning elections.
It’s perfectly possible for someone to see an ad on TV or a tweet on Twitter and yet not make a firm decision to vote. We might further consider: Someone watching Sean Hannity on Fox every night will get good ’n’ riled up against liberals, socialists, Deep Statists, etc., but no matter how angry, he or she can only vote once.
By contrast, if each Hannity fan devoted time to persuading others to vote, that would be more helpful to the conservative cause. For some, Hannity is great entertainment, and yet he’s no kind of turnout machine.
In the meantime, that’s exactly what Abrams has created: a turnout machine.