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July 26, 2018

While national Democrats debate pithy slogans, force out tired satires, and generally wonder what exactly they're supposed to be doing, Stacey Abrams has a plan. The Georgia state legislator and Democratic nominee for governor is a compelling speaker and driven public servant, Molly Ball wrote for Time in a profile published Thursday — but more than that, she's not afraid to try strategies that party bigwigs have largely ignored.

Georgia is a red state veering purple; in the run-up to the 2016 election, there were several polls that breathed life into the idea that Hillary Clinton could steal the conservative state. President Trump ultimately won the Peach State by 5 points, but Abrams thinks there's a coalition to be built that could nonetheless propel her to the governorship. Abrams is facing the deeply conservative Brian Kemp, who serves as Georgia's secretary of state and who has focused his campaign ads on culture war issues. Abrams, by contrast, has made budget priorities the center of her campaign, pledging to rejuvenate Georgia's public education system and overhaul its safety net.

The key, her team believes, is in tweaking its target voters:

Ever since Bill Clinton won re-election in 1996 with a strategy of triangulation, Democrats have tried to win in Republican territory by appealing to white centrist voters. The idea was to combine them with the Democrats' base, but it frequently left white voters cold and the base unenthused. Abrams' campaign is built on the proposition that a compelling candidate can get elected in the South with a progressive message that attracts liberal whites and minorities to the polls in greater numbers. [Time]

"I am coming for you, Georgia!" Abrams says, speaking to hyped up crowds. "Help me get there!" Read more about her plan to turn Georgia blue — and how she used to explain Republican lawmakers' bills back to them — at Time. Kimberly Alters

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