Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams faced off in their second and final gubernatorial debate Sunday night, just over a week before Election Day, amid a record-high early voting.
They quarreled over the economy of the state, abortion rights, and, as a sign of the national implications of race, over whose party should be blamed for the country’s woes.
Kemp has led in most polls of the race, but Abrams — who brought her race to within a few thousand votes in the 2018 runoff — has a strong support base and has successfully helped mobilize Democrats in her and other senior Democrat campaigns Candidates including President Joe Biden and Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in their 2020 campaigns.
Here are some key takeaways from the second gubernatorial debate in Georgia:
A Tale of Two Economies: Is Georgia booming, as Kemp says, or nearing catastrophic bankruptcy, as Abrams argued?
The candidates painted very different portraits of the state’s economic situation, with Kemp pointing to higher wages and low unemployment – attributing inflation to inflation, which he attributed to Washington’s Democratic policies – while Abrams highlighted a low minimum wage and Kemp’s refusal to To accept Medicaid expansion funds under Obamacare as twin albatrosses borne by the Georgian working class.
The future of abortion rights remains an important issue: In a way, the abortion debate has stalled in Georgia. The state has a law on its books passed three years ago that bans the trial after about six weeks. And with the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, it’s in effect now.
But Abrams and the debate moderators had another question for Kemp: If re-elected, would the Republican sign further legislative restrictions if there are no federal restrictions?
Kemp didn’t give a straight yes or no answer, saying he didn’t “want to prejudge any particular law without seeing exactly what it does,” before adding, “It’s not my desire to go back. to move the needle further.”
Joe Biden vs Herschel Walker? They don’t run for governor, but they rank first for many in Georgia.
For Democrats, it’s GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker who has become a symbol of what his critics call Republican hypocrisy on issues like abortion, law enforcement support and business acumen.
On the Republican side, President Joe Biden is the boogeyman of choice for most economic issues, with GOP candidates and their running mates tirelessly trying to tie Democratic candidates to the president and the rising inflation that has occurred during his tenure.
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