Stacey Abrams is out-raising her rivals. She’s outspending them, too.
Stacey Abrams speaks during a get-out-the-vote rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at Ting Pavilion on Oct. 24, 2021, in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Eze Amos/Getty Images/TNS)
Stacey Abrams isn’t just outpacing her Republican rivals in fundraising. She’s outspending them, too.
Her campaign has spent more than $12 million since she entered the race in December, including nearly $6.5 million on digital, radio and TV advertisements in the last three months, according to campaign documents to be released Monday.
Abrams’ campaign aims to define the Democrat before Republicans turn their full attention to attacking her second bid for governor.
Locked in a bruising GOP primary battle, Gov. Brian Kemp and former U.S. Sen. David Perdue have blistered each other for the last six months, giving her more flexibility to broaden her message.
While Abrams has $8 million in the bank, she hasn’t hoarded resources. She ran a radio ad in December that winked at the GOP infighting and wished listeners a Merry Christmas.
And in March she launched her first TV ad of the election season, timed to coincide with the start of her in-person campaign tour.
As the May 24 primary nears, Abrams has booked new ads touting her business credentials and, this week, launched a radio spot narrated by her brother Richard.
She’s running unopposed in the Democratic primary, giving her another edge: Her ad spending was financed entirely from donations earmarked for the primary election season. By contrast, much of the campaign funds left in her account are devoted to the general election or December runoff.
The surge in campaign expenditures echoes Abrams’ campaign strategy in 2018, when she faced criticism in a heated primary for burning through her campaign account rather than stockpiling her resources for a final push.
She wound up raising a record sum for a Democratic challenger in that race and has since become one of the nation’s premier political fundraisers.
In this contest, the records will show she spent more than 90% of the money she raised in the three-month span between February and April.
That rate of spending appears to reflect a confidence that she can keep up her money-raising pace, particularly when she becomes the Democratic nominee and has access to a special committee created to help Kemp that can raise unlimited funds.