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Social Justice Campaigns and Democratic Party Gains: How Georgia's Partisan Reformers Overtook North Carolina's Moral Advocates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2022

Theda Skocpol*
Affiliation:
Harvard Government Department, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Caroline Tervo
Affiliation:
Duke University School of Law, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Kirsten Walters
Affiliation:
Harvard Government Department, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
*
Corresponding author: Theda Skocpol, Email: skocpol@fas.harvard.edu

Abstract

How did Democrats running for federal office win in Georgia in 2020–21, but not in North Carolina, a state long regarded as more “flippable”? This article uses newly assembled organizational data to situate recent Democratic fortunes in the context of two long-running statewide campaigns for racial and economic justice—led by North Carolina's Reverend William Barber II and Georgia's Stacey Abrams. We track shifting political opportunity structures and the organizational and strategic evolution of both movements during the 2010s, with a special focus on outreach beyond major metropolitan areas. Our findings suggest that social justice campaigns aiming to increase government responsiveness to poor minority citizens do better if they engage in persistent, locally embedded voter outreach along partisan lines rather than heavily relying on morally framed, media-friendly protests. This research also demonstrates how data on organizational networks can be assembled and used to explore historical-institutional hypotheses about the development and impact of social movements.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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References

1 This happened even though African Americans in both states turned out at unusually high levels in 2008 and Black Georgians make up about 30 percent of their state's voting-age population while Black North Carolinians compose 21 percent of theirs. As we will stress throughout this article, demographic shares and registration rates are not the same thing as actual voter turnout. Even if Black voting-eligible citizens overwhelmingly support Democrats, they may not vote. In Georgia, Black turnout as a percentage of Black citizen voting-age population (CVAP) peaked in 2008 at 61.4 percent. CVAP estimates were tabulated by the Census using the five-year American Community Survey, and Black turnout data are from the Georgia Secretary of State.

2 In its final pre-November election forecasts, for example, FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats slightly greater chances of winning the presidential and Senate races in North Carolina than in Georgia, and projections at the New York Times and the Economist leaned even more toward North Carolina Democrats. After the fact, commentators at these and other sites invoked underlying demography to help explain the opposite outcomes.

3 Galvin, Daniel J., Presidential Party Building: Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010)Google Scholar.

4 Schickler, Eric, Racial Realignment: The Transformation of American Liberalism, 1932–1965 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016)Google Scholar.

5 See his classic work, Gerschenkron, Alexander, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962)Google Scholar.

6 Author analysis of financial contributions to these entities. Contribution data from the National Institute on Money in State Politics, accessed May 28, 2021, https://www.followthemoney.org/.

7 Author analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) candidate filings. See also Alicia Parlapiano and Rachel Shorey, “Who Financed the Georgia Sixth, the Most Expensive House Election Ever,” New York Times, June 20, 2017.

8 Although her margins of loss ended up not very different in the two states, the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign and aligned PACs allocated only $2.5 million to Georgia while dumping $33 million for television and radio ads into North Carolina from April 5, 2015 through November 7, 2016. A month before the 2020 election, the Biden campaign had spent $42.5 million on TV ads in North Carolina and only $4 million on the same in Georgia –– but it increased spending in Georgia rapidly in the weeks before the election. Ben Kamisar, “Battleground Ad Spending: Biden Maintains Advantage in Key Swing States,” NBC News, October 27, 2020.

9 Domenico Montanaro, “Presidential Campaign TV Ad Spending Crosses $1 Billion Mark in Key States,” NPR, October 13, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/10/13/923427969/presidential-campaign-tv-ad-spending-crosses-1-billion-mark-in-key-states.

10 Bill Ruthhart and Jonathan Berlin, “Campaign Trail Tracker: Where Trump, Biden, and Their Running Mates Have traveled in Presidential Race's Final Weeks,” Chicago Tribune, November 5, 2020, https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-viz-presidential-campaign-trail-tracker-20200917-edspdit2incbfnopchjaelp3uu-htmlstory.html.

11 According to 2019 ACS data, 32.5 percent and 32.3 percent of residents aged 25 and older in Georgia and North Carolina, respectively, had received bachelor's degrees. The college-degreed ranks tilted more toward whites in North Carolina. In Georgia, 23.8 percent of college-degree eligible voters were Black, whereas 14.8 percent of college-degree holders in North Carolina were Black.

12 Data on county-level voter turnout in both states support this point. In Georgia, the share of votes coming from counties containing Atlanta and its suburbs ranged from 41.9 to 43.2 percent in presidential, midterm, and runoff elections between 2008 and 2021. In North Carolina, the share of votes coming from counties containing Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and the Piedmont Triad ranged from 38.8 to 42.4 percent between 2008 and 2020.

13 William Wan, “Inside the Republican Creation of the North Carolina Voting Bill Dubbed the ‘Monster’ Law,” Washington Post, September 2, 2016.

14 Voting-aged citizen population estimates are drawn from the 2015–2019 ACS five-year estimates and are the most recently published estimates of these figures.

15 Moisi Secret, “Firing Up the Faithful: The State's NAACP's New President,” Indy Week, February 1, 2006, https://indyweek.com/news/firing-faithful/. For Barber's biography, we also drew from his book: William J. Barber II, with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear (Boston: Beacon Press, 2016).

16 Michael Easterbrook, “New Hands Take the NAACP Reins,” News & Observer, October 9, 2005.

17 Mark Binker, “NAACP Replaces Alston as President,” News & Record (Greensboro), October 7, 2005.

18 Ibid.; Secret, “Firing Up the Faithful.”

19 The quotes from Alston appear in Chris Fitzsimon, “Two Men Vie for Presidency of N.C. Chapter of NAACP,” NC Policy Watch, October 4, 2005. By 2005 there were nineteen Black Representatives, which made up 16 percent of the 120-member North Carolina House and close to a third of the Democratic House caucus. There were also six Black Senators, which made up 12 percent of the full body and just over a fifth of the Senate Democratic caucus. For the longer-term picture, see Jeffrey J. Crow, Paul D. Escott, and Flora J. Hatley Wadelington, A History of African Americans in North Carolina (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 2019), ch. 10.

20 Al McSurely, “Breathing Life into Dem Dry Bones with Apologies to Ezekiel: A Short History of the People's 14 Point Agenda and the HKonJ People's General Assembly,” remarks delivered to the Orange County People's Assembly Meeting on November 15, 2008. A copy of the remarks is available through the John Kenyon Chapman Papers No. 5441, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, https://dcr.lib.unc.edu/record/b9a911ae-c313-4e6b-a0bf-b2d8b35ca7d2/.

21 Secret, “Firing Up the Faithful.”

22 Binker, “NAACP Replaces Alston as President.”

23 For broader discussions of NAACP dynamics in various southern states, see Mickey, Robert, Paths Out of Dixie: The Democratization of Authoritarian Enclaves in America's Deep South 1944–1972 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press)Google Scholar; Sullivan, Patricia, Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement (New York: The New Press, 2009)Google Scholar; Manfred Berg, “The Ticket to Freedom”: The NAACP and the Struggle for Black Political Integration (Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 2005). Mickey (especially p. 88) explains the complexities of estimating branches and membership. All authors note that each time the national NAACP raised dues, membership levels receded for a time. Georgia's setbacks from the late 1940s were nevertheless greater and more persistent.

24 Raymond Gavins, “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,” in Encyclopedia of North Carolina, ed. William S. Powell (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006).

25 Ibid., 116.

26 McSurely, “Breathing Life into Dem Bones”; see also Secret, “Firing Up the Faithful.” From information we have gathered, the state conference added five new local branches during the Barber years, including predominantly white units in western counties; see Michael Schulson, “This North Carolina County Has a Thriving Branch of the NAACP—And It's Mostly White,” Scalawag (copublished with The Nation), October 31, 2017, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/this-north-carolina-county-has-a-thriving-branch-of-the-naacp-and-its-mostly-white/. The Barber years also brought expansions in youth auxiliaries and college branches.

27 Barber, The Third Reconstruction, 48, and the following pages tell the story of how this coalition was constructed.

28 All quoted passages through this paragraph are from McSurely, “Breathing Life into Dem Bones.”

29 Barber, The Third Reconstruction, 53.

30 Lori D. R. Wiggins, “North Carolina Voters Change State from Red to Blue,” The Crisis, Spring 2009.

31 Dante Strobino, “10,000 Say “Organize the South,’” Workers World, February 25, 2009, https://www.workers.org/2009/us/raleigh_0305/; O'Brien, Barbara and Grosso, Catherine M., “Confronting Race: How a Confluence of Social Movements Convinced North Carolina to Go Where the McCleskey Court Wouldn't,” Michigan State Law Review 463 (2011), http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/z988-as66Google Scholar; North Carolina Racial Justice Act, 2009–2010 session, accessed May 7, 2022, https://www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2009/s461.

32 Renee Chou, “March, Rally to Push 14-Point Progressive Agenda,” WRAL Local News, February 9, 2008.

33 Kristin Collins, “‘Historic Thousands’ March to Legislature,” Raleigh News & Observer, February 10, 2008. For a broad perspective on the ambivalences of North Carolina politics, see Cooper, Christopher A. and Knotts, H. Gibbs, eds., The New Politics of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2008)Google Scholar.

34 For a full analysis of GOP goals and transformations in North Carolina, see Tervo, Caroline, “Why Republicans Went Hard Right in North Carolina,” in Upending American Politics, ed. Skocpol, Theda and Tervo, Caroline (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020), ch. 3Google Scholar.

35 Derek Willis, “Kay Hagan Sidesteps Democratic Party Turmoil in North Carolina,” New York Times, July 22, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/upshot/kay-hagan-sidesteps-democratic-party-turmoil-in-north-carolina-.html.

36 Dan Kane, “Marching Against GOP Policies,” Raleigh News & Observer, February 10, 2013, 1B; Jaime Fuller, “80,000 People Protested in NC This Weekend. Here's Why,” Washington Post, February 10, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/02/10/why-tens-of-thousands-of-people-were-rallying-in-raleigh/; and Ari Berman, “North Carolina's Moral Monday Movement Kicks Off 2014 with a Massive Rally in Raleigh,” The Nation, February 8, 2014, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/north-carolinas-moral-monday-movement-kicks-2014-massive-rally-raleigh/.

37 Dani McClain, “How the Moral Mondays ‘Fusion Coalition’ Is Taking North Carolina Back,” The Nation, July 3, 2014, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/how-moral-mondays-fusion-coalition-taking-north-carolina-back/.

38 Barry Yeoman, “Shifting Tactics, Moral Monday Movement Launches New Freedom Summer,” Portside: Material of Interest to People on the Left, July 3, 2014, https://prospect.org/power/shifting-tactics-moral-monday-movement-launches-new-freedom-summer/.

39 Stephen G. N. Tuck, Beyond Atlanta: The Struggle for Racial Equality in Georgia, 1940– 1980 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001), especially ch. 2; and on Sullivan, Lift Every Voice, p. 305 and ch. 8.

40 Lici Beveridge, “Stacey Abrams, Georgia Candidate for Governor, Has Strong Mississippi Roots,” Hattiesburg American, September 21, 2018.

41 Suggested in one of our confidential interviews. Stacey Abrams, Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change [originally published as Minority Leader] (New York: Picador, 2018), 23.

42 Stacey Abrams and Lauren Groh-Wargo, “How to Turn Your Red State Blue,” New York Times, February 11, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/opinion/stacey-abrams-georgia-election.html.

43 Jim Gaines, “Georgia Democrats Seeking a Road Back,” The Macon Telegraph, January 7, 2011.

44 Michael W. Pannell, “House Minority Leader Addresses Local Democrats,” Macon Telegraph, June 22, 2011, E5.

45 James Salzer, “While in Georgia House Leadership, Abrams Was Also a Per Diem Leader,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 18, 2018, https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/while-georgia-house-leadership-abrams-was-also-per-diem-leader/2MTJR6ycRUuFTmKfTKsGBK/. More detail on parts of some of these travel days can be found in a conservative muckraking article: Jessica Szilagyi, “Abrams Collected “Official Business’ Per Diem Days for Political & Personal Events 70+ Times,” AllOnGeorgia, October 24, 2018, https://allongeorgia.com/georgia- state-politics/abrams-collected-official-business-per-diem-days-for-political-personal-events-70-times/.

46 Aaron Gould Sheinin, “Democratic Leader Accuses GOP of ‘Purging’ White Democrats,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 10, 2012, https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt--politics/democratic-leader-accuses-gop-purging-white-democrats/ElzjoNF7APxWcNbCIbAlgI/; Abrams, Lead from the Outside, 62–64.

47 Such events are among dozens detailed in Szilagyi, “Abrams Collected Per Diem Days.” See also Kimmy Yam, “How Stacey Abrams Has Been Mobilizing Asian Americans for Years,” Asian America, January 15, 2012, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/how-stacey-abrams-has-been-mobilizing-asian-americans-years-n1254440.

48 “Speaker's Bio: Lauren Groh-Wargo,” Lesbians Who Tech, accessed May 24, 2021, https://lesbianswhotech.org/speakers/lauren-groh-wargo/; Abrams, Lead from the Outside, 53, 169; Abrams and Groh-Wargo, “How to Turn Your Red State Blue.”

49 See the commentary about this transition from John Davis, “Liberal Insurgents End Sen. Basnight's Historic Era of Power: Business Agenda and Long-term Jobs Growth Threatened by Attrition of Allies,” Political Report from John Davis Consulting, December 10, 2009, https://www.johndavisconsulting.com/2009/12/10/liberal-insurgents-end-sen-basnight%e2%80%99s-historic-era-of-power-business-agenda-and-long-term-jobs-growth-threatened-by-attrition-of-allies/.

50 Richard Fausset, “There Is More to Stacey Abrams Than Meets Partisan Eyes,” New York Times, August 19, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/19/us/politics/stacey-abrams-georgia.html. Abrams's moderation has been criticized by some on the progressive left. See Branko Marcetic, “Stacey Abrams's Record Is Not As Progressive As She Wants You to Think,” Jacobin, July 24, 2020, https://jacobinmag.com/2020/07/stacey-abrams-democratic-party. As minority leader, Abrams was well known for working with the GOP governor on changes to the state's HOPE college scholarship program. Her leadership style was to engage on many issues and seek modifications of GOP legislation, rather than only denouncing from the minority position.

51 Jesse James DeConto, “Massing for Schools, Peace,” Raleigh News & Observer, 1B and 2B; Abrams and Groh-Wargo, “How to Turn Your Red State Blue.”

52 Abrams, Stacey, Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (New York: Henry Holt), 48Google Scholar; Rebecca Traister, “Stacey Abrams on Finishing the Job in Georgia ‘It Can Be Undone Just As Quickly and Effectively As We Did It,’” The Cut, November 19, 2020, https://www.thecut.com/2020/11/stacey-abrams-on-flipping-georgia-blue.html.

53 North Carolina advocates also supported ACA implementation, but did so only sporadically while promoting multiple priorities, and thus may not have developed similar sorts of local awareness and connections. Further details in remarks from Kendra Davenport Cotton, Chief Operating Officer for the New Georgia Project Action Fund, in an online event, Flip NC, “Building a Grassroots Strategy to Elect Democrats in NC: How Georgia Did It,” hosted by Neighbors on Call, March 10, 2021, recording on YouTube, https://youtube.com/watch?v=-92Oeur9ZdA.

54 Abrams, Our Time, ch. 2.

55 For example: Groh-Wargo originally consulted on campaign manager trainings for the Georgia Democratic Party before leading the New Georgia Project voter registration and the Voter Access Institute from 2014 to 2017. The Democratic Party of Georgia executive director from 2014 to 2019 went on to serve as CEO of Fair Count.

56 Flip NC, “Building a Grassroots Strategy to Elect Democrats in NC.”

57 For a critique, see William Perry, “Unethical Abrams,” Georgia Ethics Watchdogs Blog Report, May 17, 2018. On Abrams's time as a private practice attorney setting up organizations and funding mechanisms, see Abrams, Lead from the Outside, ch. 4. Before running for office, Abrams also published work as a tax policy expert; see, e.g., Stacey Abrams, “Can a Charity Tax Credit Help the Poor?” American Prospect, December 19, 2001. Abrams emphasized that she distanced herself from the nonprofits she founded after launching her campaign for governor.

58 Abrams, Lead from the Outside, 66; Greg Bluestein, “How Abrams’ and Kemp's First Runs for Office Helped Shape Their Careers,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 25, 2018, https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/how-abrams-and-kemp-first-runs-for-office-helped-shape-their-careers/ieG0R9qtcNwb0rcr9Hb0IN/.

59 Abrams, Lead from the Outside, 164–65.

60 Attributed to Rebecca DeHart in Tessa Stuart, “Stacey Abrams Is Building a New Kind of Political Machine in the Deep South,” Rolling Stone, March 1, 2020, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/stacey-abrams-census-voting-rights-vice-president-953173/.

61 Quoted in Traister, “Stacey Abrams on Finishing the Job.”

62 This strand of research is summarized and assessed in Amenta, Edwin, Caren, Neal, Chicarello, Elizabeth, and Su, Yang, “The Political Consequences of Social Movements,” Annual Review of Sociology 36 (2010): 287307CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

63 Yeoman, “Shifting Tactics.” A confidential interviewee active at the time also shared information about exactly where full- and part-time organizers were deployed, to supplement maps we found online and give us the complete picture of deployments.

64 Barber, Third Reconstruction, 124, 128. Interestingly, Barber says more about proposals for third party efforts than about reforming and reinvigorating the North Carolina Democratic Party.

65 Barry Yeoman, “Can Moral Mondays Produce Victorious Tuesdays?” The American Prospect, January 19, 2015, https://prospect.org/power/can-moral-mondays-produce-victorious-tuesdays/.

66 Robert Joyce, “Early Voting in North Carolina,” UNC School of Government Blog: Coates’ Cannons, October 5, 2010.

67 According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, statewide voter turnout in 2014 was 44.0 percent. Hagan received 49.1 percent of the two-party vote share statewide. In metro counties and secondary-city counties, Hagan received 54.4 percent and 50.0 percent of votes, respectively. In 2012, Obama received 55.9 percent and 52.3 percent of votes in these county types.

68 Specifically, we include all North Carolina counties other than Cabarrus, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Orange, Randolph, and Wake.

69 We draw turnout numbers by county and race from the North Carolina State Board of Elections’ Historical Election Results Data and county-level election results from Dave Leip's Detailed General Election Data: Dave Leip, U.S. Presidential General County Election Results, last modified November 22, 2016, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/SUCQ52; Dave Leip, Governor General County Election Data, last modified March 29, 2018, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/LTFVBG; Dave Leip, Detailed General Election Data for U.S. Senate, last modified March 29, 2018, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/IZQWRO.

70 Larry Rubin, “Moral Mondays Coalition Defeats McCrory—Trump's Man in N.C.,” People's World, December 15, 2016, https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/moral-mondays-coalition-defeats-mccrory-trumps-man-in-n-c/; Michael Schulson, “North Carolina Went Red in 2016. But Can It Be a Model for Democrats?” Politico, February 4, 2017, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/02/north-carolina-went-red-in-2016-but-can-it-be-a-model-for-democrats-214736/.

71 David Boraks, “McCrory Loses on Home Turf; Blame I-77 Tolls, HB2, Shifting Vote Patterns,” WFAE.org, November 9, 2016, https://www.wfae.org/politics/2016-11-09/mccrory-loses-on-home-turf-blame-i-77-tolls-hb2-shifting-vote-patterns.

72 Our sources for this statement include confidential interviews, as well as repeated media coverage of activist protests against the Cooper administration.

73 From 2014 to 2020, Democratic two-party vote shares declined by 0.21 percent on average across four secondary-city counties with high shares of Black voters versus an increase for the Democratic share of 1.57 percent in secondary-city counties with considerably lower Black vote shares. In some of those places, like New Hanover (around Wilmington) and Buncombe (around Asheville), college-educated whites moved toward Democrats—and, indeed, statewide, county shares of college-degreed eligible voters are a better predictor of Democratic margins than county shares of Black eligibles. The reverse is true in Georgia.

74 Perry Bacon Jr., “How Georgia Turned Blue,” FiveThirtyEight, November 18, 2020, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-georgia-turned-blue/; Nate Cohn, Matthew Conlen, and Charlie Smart, “Detailed Turnout Data Shows How Georgia Turned Blue,” New York Times, November 17, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/11/17/upshot/georgia-precinct-shift-suburbs.html.

75 Between 2008 and 2021, the share of total votes from Atlanta and its suburbs has ranged from 41.9 percent to 43.2 percent, less than enough for statewide Democratic candidates to rely exclusively on Atlanta and its suburbs for votes.

76 Max Blau, “The New Georgia Project: Stacey Abrams's $10 Million Plan to Double Down on Voter Registration,” Atlanta Magazine, November 30, 2015, https://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/the-new-new-georgia-project-stacey-abramss-10-million-plan-to-double-down-on-voter-registration/; Max Blau, “The New Georgia Problem,” Creative Loafing (blog), February 16, 2015, https://creativeloafing.com/content-170768-the-new-georgia-problem; Abrams, Our Time Is Now, 59.

77 Kristina Torres, “New Georgia Project Releases Financial Records, Renews Voter Push,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 4, 2016, https://www.ajc.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/new-georgia-project-releases-financial-records-renews-voter-push/BJoatzFC6XHZQ8GcACOsRN/.

78 Martha Quillin, “Barber Bids Farewell to State NAACP, Will Step onto National Stage,” Raleigh News & Observer, October 7, 2017, https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article177633731.html.

79 Traister, “Stacey Abrams on Finishing the Job.”

80 From April to July 2016, the NGP announced that it successfully submitted 68,000 new voter registration applications, and 221,897 were submitted by early summer 2018. Figures reported on the New Georgia Project website, as accessed through the Wayback Machine, July 20, 2017, http://web.archive.org/web/20170720152041/; https://newgeorgiaproject.org/category/blog/; http://web.archive.org/web/20180809065643/https://newgeorgiaproject.org/blog/ (the latter site accessed August 2018).

81 Brittany Gibson, “How Georgia Got Organized,” The American Prospect, January 2, 2021, https://prospect.org/politics/how-georgia-got-organized-stacey-abrams-democrats-elections/.

82 Tim Regan-Porter, “Is Georgia Red, Blue, or Purple? Data Shows Rural, Metro Voters More Divided Than Ever,” The Telegraph, November 13, 2018, updated October 11, 2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20190519134448/https://www.macon.com/news/politics-government/election/article221405270.html; Gibson, “How Georgia Got Organized.”

83 Andra Gillespie, “In Georgia's Gubernatorial Race, Stacey Abrams’ Strategy May Make Victory Easier for Future Black Candidates in the South,” The Conversation, November 28, 2018, https://theconversation.com/in-georgias-gubernatorial-race-stacey-abrams-strategy-may-make-victory-easier-for-future-black-candidates-in-the-south-106122.

84 Nate Cohn, “Why Warnock and Ossoff Won in Georgia,” Upshot (New York Times blog), January 7, 2021, accessed May 7, 2022, , https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/07/upshot/warnock-ossoff-georgia-victories.html; Bernard L. Fraga, Zachary Peskowitz, and James Szewczyk, “New Georgia Runoffs Data Finds That More Black Voters Than Usual Came Out. Trump Voters Stayed Home,” Washington Post, January 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/29/new-georgia-runoffs-data-finds-that-more-black-voters-than-usual-came-out-trump-voters-stayed-home/.

85 Nathaniel Rakich, Geoffrey Skelley, Laura Bronner, and Julia Wolfe, “How Democrats Won the Georgia Runoffs,” FiveThirtyEight, January 7, 2021, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-democrats-won-the-georgia-runoffs/.

86 Gibson, “How Georgia Got Organized”; Anna North, “6 Black Women Organizers on What Happened in Georgia—and What Comes Next, Vox, November 11, 2020, https://www.vox.com/21556742/georgia-votes-election-organizers-stacey-abrams; Frances Madeson, “Changing Tides in Georgia's ‘Black Belt’ Could Deliver the Senate to Democrats,” Salon, January 5, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/01/05/changing-tides-in-georgias-black-belt-could-deliver-the-senate-to-democrats_partner/; Becca Andrews, “‘Voting Is Life or Death’: How Georgia Democrats are Organizing in One of the Earliest COVID Hot Spots,” Mother Jones, December 17, 2020, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/12/albany-georgia-organizers-raphael-warnock-runoff-coronavirus/; Steven Rosenfeld, “Grassroots Outreach Is the Frontline in Georgia,” billmoyers.com, January 3, 2021, https://billmoyers.com/story/grassroots-outreach-is-the-frontline-in-georgia/; Benjamin Barber, “‘Deep Canvassing’ Targets Rural Georgia,” Portside, December 18, 2020, https://portside.org/2020-12-18/deep-canvassing-targets-rural-georgia; and 1000 Women Strong: 2020 Impact Report, email message to author, see also https://www.1kwomenstrong.com/.; Stacey Abrams (@StaceyAbrams), “Nine weeks of hustle….” Twitter, January 8, 2021, https://twitter.com/staceyabrams/status/1347536224727216129?s=20. See also the state party's after report, Georgia Democrats, “Democratic Party of Georgia: 2020 Victory Report,” last modified May 25, 2021, https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20789896-democratic-party-of-georgia-%202020-victory-report.

87 1000 Women Strong.

88 Specifically, we consider all Georgia counties beyond Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, and Rockdale. These data are drawn from the Georgia Secretary of State's Voter Turnout by Demographics and Results by Demographics, https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/voter_turn_out_by_demographics.

89 Making more visits to Black Belt and South Georgia places than to the Atlanta suburbs, Ossoff and/or Warnock visited all secondary-city counties—and many smaller cities, towns, and counties, reaping local coverage for claims they are “very concerned about rural Georgia.” See Alex Jones and Brennan Reh, “Rev. Raphael Warnock Makes Campaign Stop in Buena Vista,” WTVM, November 22, 2020, https://www.wtvm.com/2020/11/22/rev-raphael-warnock-makes-campaign-stop-buena-vista/.

90 Our information on the location of dozens of Democratic Party of Georgia field offices comes from a student paper by Anna Duffy, “Georgia on Our Minds: How Ossoff and Warnock Achieved Record Turnout in 2021,” Harvard University, May 9, 2021.

91 Andrews quoted in Yeoman, “Can Moral Mondays Produce Victorious Tuesdays?”

92 See the New North Carolina Project, accessed October 5, 2021, https://newnorthcarolinaproject.org/. Executive director Aimy Steele discussed the efforts in Flip NC, “Building a Grassroots Strategy to Elect Democrats in NC: How Georgia Did It.”

93 Shailly Gupta Barnes, “Waking the Sleeping Giant: Poor and Low Income Voters in the 2020 Election,” report from the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, October 2021.

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Social Justice Campaigns and Democratic Party Gains: How Georgia's Partisan Reformers Overtook North Carolina's Moral Advocates
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Social Justice Campaigns and Democratic Party Gains: How Georgia's Partisan Reformers Overtook North Carolina's Moral Advocates
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Social Justice Campaigns and Democratic Party Gains: How Georgia's Partisan Reformers Overtook North Carolina's Moral Advocates
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