Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is still weighing a 2020 run for president, she said in an interview Thursday, once again teasing a run for a major office in the coming election.
Abrams has long dangled a possible run for president, saying last month that she may wait until the fall to announce a White House run – “third” on her list of future plans – and later arguing that the 2020 field was not too full.
When asked by Dan Pfeiffer, co-host of the left-leaning political podcast Pod Save America, whether she was still considering mounting a campaign, Abrams replied, “Yes.”
When asked what considerations were factoring into her decision, Abrams alluded to her current efforts fighting voter suppression, saying that she would likely join the 2020 field if she felt that other candidates were not addressing the issue, as well as turnout maximization, forcefully enough.
“For me, the most important and urgent conversation of the day is the fight for free and fair elections, because I believe that that is an existential crisis facing our democracy,” she said, later adding, “we can not win elections in America for the people if we do not have candidates who are fighting against voter suppression.”
Abrams said the ability to maximize turnout and reframe Democrats’ motivation in the 2020 election are key factors for a winning candidate.
“We also have to have candidates who are fighting for all of us, who realize that this is not an election against Donald Trump, it is for America,” she said. Candidates must realize “every community is a persuasion target, not just a turnout target,” and must know how to “maximize our turnout, not to win the popular vote, but to win the Electoral College vote.”
“I’m looking at all that, and I want to make certain that the candidates who are moving forward are paying attention to that and have plans for that,” she added. “If I think they don’t, I’ll probably jump in myself.”
Abrams also explained her decision last month not to run for Senate in 2020, saying that while she was confident she could have won the election, she was more suited to “an executive role.”
“I do not believe that the work that I do and the way I approach the work that I do would be a match with the Senate – I think I could have supported that kind of work on the ground, but I don’t think I could have led it,” she said. “And for me, that’s the most important issue, being on the ground doing this work.”
“I’m much more suited to a more executive role than a legislative role,” Abrams added, referencing how she spent more years in a leadership role during her time in the Georgia legislature than not. “For me it’s about building systems and making sure that the execution of the ideas are as tightly done as possible, and that’s what I’m good at.”