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As Biden Inches Ahead in Georgia, Stacey Abrams Draws Recognition and Praise

Not everyone is celebrating Ms. Abrams. Lee Morris, a Republican who serves as county commissioner in Fulton County, home to Atlanta, said he viewed Ms. Abrams, a fiery orator, as “divisive,” drawing a comparison between her and Mr. Trump.

“Like President Trump’s allegations of cheating and corruption have fired up the right side, certainly her efforts have fired up the enthusiasm of folks to get out and vote,” Mr. Morris said in an interview Friday. That said, while Mr. Trump’s false claims of rigged elections and widespread cheating are baseless, Georgia has a long and documented history of voter suppression, particularly among voters of color.

Ms. Abrams has, at times, also run afoul of members of her own party, who criticized her blunt ambition and open desire to be Mr. Biden’s running mate. In the South, where Black politicians are close-knit and traditional, Ms. Abrams has also been a disruptive force. Her political vision can be at odds with the local Democratic establishment, and her shot to national prominence has ruffled feathers.

The political payoff of Mr. Biden’s breakthrough in Georgia, however, may put those tensions to rest. The playbook she popularized took root — a combination of winning back metro suburbanites and registering new voters in Black, Latino, and Asian-American communities.

Nse Ufot, the current chief executive of New Georgia Project, said electoral campaigns are often too shortsighted to do the long-term work of registering and educating new voters, regardless of party affiliation.

“When you think about the transactional nature of electoral campaigns, I think they prioritize getting people who are already voters to vote for them,” Ms. Ufot said, adding that there was “not enough conversation about 100 million Americans who are eligible to vote who did not vote in 2016.”

Astead Herndon contributed reporting.

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