The Jolt: Stacey Abrams’ war for women’s votes

News and analysis from the politics team at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Stacey Abrams announces a plan to hike teacher pay outside the Georgia Association of Educators headquarters. Photo/Greg Bluestein

Stacey Abrams announces a plan to hike teacher pay outside the Georgia Association of Educators headquarters. Photo/Greg Bluestein

With a majority of Georgia Democrats’ statewide candidates being women, the party’s 2022 message was always going to skew a bit female.

But at an event in East Atlanta Thursday night, gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and attorney general nominee state Sen. Jen Jordan told a room of mostly women that contacting, talking to and winning over female voters in Georgia would be crucial to securing Democratic victories in November’s elections.

“Four years ago, we thought that we won some of our battles. Forty-nine years ago, we thought we won the war. And yet we are still in the middle of the fight,” Abrams said.

The event was hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia, the pro-abortion rights group that shifted into high gear when news leaked earlier this year that the U.S. Supreme Court could soon overturn Roe v. Wade.

With the decision to overturn Roe now official and abortion rights the purview of states, Abrams hammered her opponent, GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, for signing the state’s 6-week abortion ban in 2019.

“Brian Kemp does not care about the women of Georgia, and we need to care enough about ourselves to get him out of here,” she said.

Jordan, the nominee for attorney general, said her opponent, AG Chris Carr, moved quickly last month to get the Georgia law enacted as soon as possible after being held up in court.

“I’ve actually never seen him move so fast, to be honest with you,” Jordan said.

She also told the crowd that they need to reach out to other women in their communities. “We have to move the needle and most women in this space have no idea what HB 481 does,” she said.

It’s not clear how much the Dobbs decision overturning Roe will influence the votes of women, who make up the majority of voters in Georgia.

And Abrams said she knows other issues, especially inflation, will go into voters’ choices, too.

“We’ve got to give them the space to know that we can solve the immediate issue of your money, but we cannot solve the loss of our rights if we do not fight this.”

Abrams also reminded voters Friday that Medicaid expansion is still at the heart of her policy agenda, releasing a new video explainer about her promise to embrace the idea if she’s elected. You can watch it here.


PLAY BALL. As this year’s All-Star game approaches, some leading Republicans can’t help but look back at Major League Baseball’s decision in 2021 to move the baseball showcase from Truist Park in protest of the state’s new election overhaul.

House Speaker David Ralston penned a letter this week to Commissioner Rob Manfred lamenting how he “unjustly deprived” Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the sweeping rewrite of voting rules into law.

The move cost Georgia a key economic development event that amounted to what Ralston wrote was a “lot of food taken off the tables of families in Georgia.” He expressed hope that “this mistake be corrected and some of the economic damage caused by your decision can be ameliorated.”

“As such, I call on you to award a future MLB All-Star Game to be played at Truist Park in the coming years,” Ralston wrote. “The sooner this announcement is made, the quicker we can all put this unfortunate incident behind us.”


LISTEN UP: It’s time for the end-of-the-week edition of the Politically Georgia podcast. We wrap up the week that saw more grand jury subpoenas, big fundraising dollars, and the meaning behind the destruction of the mysterious Georgia Guidestones.

Listen and subscribe to our podcast for free at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Stitcher.


WALKER TALKER. Your AJC political team took a closer look at the state of Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker’s campaign in the wake of the latest controversy – a Daily Beast story that outlined claims from unnamed staffers who said they don’t trust the candidate.

The strategists we spoke with from both sides of the aisle predicted the latest in a series of damaging reports won’t change many voters’ minds but could hurt Republican morale and fundraising ability.

Several also predicted another overall trend: The rise of a split-ticket voter who backs Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock. If you are one, your Insiders would love to hear from you. Email us at


OFFICE SPACE. State Republicans are trying to needle their Democratic rivals by playing up an investigation by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of a Democratic field office in Sandy Springs that opened in the same strip mall as a voting location.

State rules require a 150-foot distance separating a field office from a polling site, and a GOP operative went firsthand to measure the gap. With an exceedingly long tape measure, they measured: 96 feet.


CONCOURSE D DO-OVER. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is in line to receive $40 million from the federal government to widen Concourse D, money allocated by the bipartisan infrastructure law passed earlier this year.

Frequent travelers know that Hartsfield-Jackson’s Concourse D is one of the most crowded and cramped areas of the airport. U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff and U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams held a press conference on Thursday to celebrate the funding with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and airport General Manager Balram “B” Bheodari.

Our colleague Kelly Yamanouchi was there. She reported that the money is part of nearly $1 billion of funding for airport terminal upgrades that is being sent to 85 airports across the country. Over five years, $5 billion will be allocated to airports for terminal upgrades as part of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

The legislation passed with the support of all but a few Democrats in Congress and a sprinkling of Republicans. The vast majority of GOP members voted “no,” including all eight in Georgia’s delegation.


OSSOFF RISING. Speaking of Sen. Jon Ossoff, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has a lengthy feature on Georgia’s first Jewish senator and what it describes as his ascendant role in the Middle East peace process.

The piece notes that Ossoff is on a text-message basis with the new Israeli prime minister, Yair Lapid, and describes the bipartisan work he is doing with GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney.

“A year and a half into his national political career, he is emerging as one of the most significant voices in Washington on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” it says.



  • President Joe Biden will deliver remarks later today detailing an executive order to protect access to abortion and contraception. He will meet with lawmakers about this issue later in the day.
  • The House and Senate are out this week.


FACT CHECKED. Earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shared a doctored photo of the suspect in the Fourth of July mass shooting near Chicago, as well as unsubstantiated rumors about him.

The posts were made on Greene’s official congressional Twitter page; her personal page was permanently banned earlier this year after she spread COVID-19 misinformation.

In her posts this week, she speculated about Robert Crimo III’s mental health and drug history and speculated that he might have been “in jail or rehab or a psychiatric center” before the alleged attack.

PolitiFact reported that the image is “noticeably edited” and that there is no evidence to back up claims Greene made about Crimo.

She did not take down the altered photo, but Greene did post an update, “Supposedly this is photoshopped. More reasons to release his records.”

On Thursday, Greene’s Twitter account was full of screenshots of emails and text messages of her spokesman Nick Dyer pushing back against media coverage of her posts and comments about Crimo.

She also faced criticism for comments she made linking the timing of the Independence Day violence and Democrats’ continued push for gun control measures like an assault weapon ban.

“Two shootings on July 4: One in a rich white neighborhood and the other at a fireworks display,” Greene said during Tuesday’s episode of her online show MTG:Live, according to Newsweek. “It almost sounds like it’s designed to persuade Republicans to go along with more gun control.”


PERSONNEL NEWS. The Democratic Party of Georgia has a new hire. Ryan Radulovacki will serve as the party’s rapid response director, focused on promoting the Democratic policy agenda. The Atlanta native most recently worked on Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s reelection bid.


NEED A LAUGH? This has nothing to do with Georgia’s chaotic scene, but it is one of the funnier political pranks we’ve seen in a while, courtesy of our friends across the pond.


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