GOP candidate Brian Kemp is officially claiming victory over Stacey Abrams in the race for Governor of Georgia.
ATLANTA (AP) - Campaign adviser: GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp claims victory in Georgia; AP has not called the race.— Kris Ketz (@KrisKetzKMBC) November 7, 2018
#BREAKING: Republican @BrianKempGA's campaign is declaring victory in the Georgia governor's race - "This campaign is over. Brian Kemp has won this election.”— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) November 7, 2018
We are waiting on a response from the @staceyabrams campaign
Minute-by-minute updates: https://t.co/lL0CqBBaft pic.twitter.com/mwnQSTqVWk
I’m honestly not sure why they haven’t called this race yet, to be honest. He leads her by 63,000+ votes, but there are absentee ballots that remain.
According to Abrams campaign:
We also know that there are tens of thousands of absentee ballots around the state – many of them Abrams’ voters – that have yet to be counted. In fact, we’re being told that more than 20,000 absentee ballots in Gwinnett County won’t even be counted until the morning and in Cobb County, we’re told there are between 25,000 and 26,000 vote by mail ballots that also have yet to be counted. Lastly, we know thousands of voters were forced to cast a provisional ballot today due to machine breakdowns and shoddy election administration.
What’s really going on is that Abrams apparently wants to get the race close enough to try and force a run-off election for December. As Vox explains…
A critical piece of this puzzle is that in Georgia, unlike in most American states, you need a majority of all votes cast rather than a plurality to win the election. That means that even though Abrams almost certainly won’t get enough votes out of the absentee ballot to actually overtake Kemp, she does stand a chance of doing well enough to push him below the 50 percent threshold. (Libertarian candidate Ted Metz has about 1 percent of the vote.) That would trigger a runoff on December 4 that would give Abrams a chance to prevail.
But she would have to get a heck of a lot of those absentee ballots. By my calculations she’d need over 30,000 votes to get him below 50% to force a run-off, and that’s assuming he doesn’t get any. This really sounds like a pipe dream if you ask me, and that’s probably why Kemp has claimed victory in the race at this point.