Georgia Democrats turn left ahead of primaries. Can it work in a GOP-led state?

Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans address the Young Democrats of Georgia.

Combined ShapeCaption
Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans address the Young Democrats of Georgia.

The gulf between the top Democrats and Republicans in Georgia is as wide as it has been in decades.

No matter who emerges in the May 22 race, Democrats will nominate someone who pledges to adopt broad new firearm restrictions, oppose socially conservative legislation, pump tens of millions of dollars into a Medicaid expansion and take steps to decriminalize marijuana.

And a Republican victor is poised to push for looser gun laws, “religious liberty” legislation and tougher restrictions on immigrants who came to to the country illegally.

Candidates always race to their base in primaries, but the maneuvering toward the flanks is sharper than ever. And it will make it more difficult for whoever emerges next week to dart back toward the center in November.

Read more: Shifting political ground pushes Georgia candidates away from center