Stacey Abrams: ‘Demography Is Opportunity’ to Flip Red Sun Belt States

In this pool image from video, Stacey Abrams delivers the Democratic party's response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 from Atlanta. Abrams narrowly lost her bid in November to become America's first black female governor, and party leaders are aggressively recruiting her to …
Associated Press
TONY LEE

Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is optimistic that the changing demographics of key red states in the Sun Belt presents Democrats with an opportunity to flip those states.

She told Rolling Stone on Friday that “Georgia’s demography is an example of what’s happening maybe more slowly everywhere else in the Sun Belt” and said “part of the obligation of effective leaders is anticipating that change.”

“Today we’re 53 percent white, 32 percent African American, 9.5 percent Latino, 4.5 percent Asian Pacific Islander. By 2026, 2027, the estimation is that it’ll be 49 percent white, 33 percent African American, about 11.5 percent Latino and roughly 7 percent Asian Pacific Islander. By the end of the next decade, there will be a seismic shift not only in the size of the population, but also in its composition. And that’s coming because of migration from the Midwest and other places into the Sunbelt,” she said. “There have been books written about this for the last 20 years and the clarion call is ‘demography is destiny.’ No. Demography is opportunity. My approach has always been to see this demographic change not as an inflection point where suddenly all of our politics are different, but as a pathway for pushing the kind of politics I think we need to have to serve this population and serve the larger American experiment.”

Abrams, who said last year that the blue wave would include illegal immigrants, believes the key to getting new voters to vote for Democrats is to run the “same campaign from beginning to end” while building an infrastructure to target and activate new voters as Democrats try to flip a state like Georgia or Texas.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Hillary Clinton recently also expressed optimism that Democrats could flip a state like Texas in 2020.

Speaking to Harris County Democrats in Texas on Friday, Clinton said that “if Texans voted at the same percentage as Californians, this state already would be blue,” adding: “If Democrats win in Texas… we will sweep the nation in 2020!”

Pelosi, during a recent Texas visit, vowed that the Lone Star State would be “ground zero” for Democrats in 2020, saying that “when it turns — and it will soon — it will make a difference not only in Texas and the lives of individual people here, it will make a difference in the country and it will make a difference in the world.”

Abrams still has not closed the door on a potential 2020 presidential run and has indicated that she will seriously consider entering the race in the fall after the debates if she believes Democrats are not talking enough about issues like voter suppression.

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