Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams faced off in their second and final gubernatorial debate Sunday night, more than a week before Election Day, ahead of schedule. Voting hit an all-time high.
They fought over the state’s economy, abortion rights and a sign of the national influence of race, and the party should be held accountable for the state’s woes.
Kemp leads in most polls for the campaign, but Abrams — who got just a few thousand votes in pushing the 2018 campaign to the tiebreaker — has a strong base of support and is successful to help mobilize Democrats for her campaign and those or other senior Democratic candidates, including Presidents Joe Biden and Sanz. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in their 2020 campaign.
Here are some key takeaways from Georgia’s second gubernatorial debate:
A Tale of Two Economies: Is Georgia booming, as Kemp says, or close to a catastrophic depression, as Abrams says?
Candidates painted starkly different accounts of the state’s economy, with Camp pointing to higher wages and low unemployment — and blaming any pain on inflation, which he attributes to Democratic policies in Washington — while Abrams pointed to the lower minimum wage and Kemp’s refusal to accept Medicaid expansion funds under Obamacare because Georgia’s working class is saddled with double albatrosses.
The future of abortion rights remains an important question: In a sense, the abortion debate in Georgia is at a standstill. The state passed a law three years ago that banned the procedure after about six weeks. With the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, it’s now in effect.
But Abrams and the debate moderator posed another question to Kemp: In the absence of federal restrictions, would Republicans sign further restrictions into law if they were re-elected?
Camp, who didn’t give a direct yes or no answer, said he didn’t want to prejudge “any specific legislation” without actually seeing what it was doing, before adding: “I don’t want to go back and keep moving the needle. ”
Joe Biden vs Herschel Walker? They’re not running for governor, but they’re a top priority for many in Georgia.
For Democrats, it’s Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who has become a symbol of what his critics say is GOP hypocrisy on issues such as abortion, support for law enforcement and business acumen.
On the Republican side, President Joe Biden is the go-to choice for most economic issues, with Republican candidates and their surrogates relentlessly trying to tie Democratic candidates to the president and the soaring inflation that has seen him in office.
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