- Lawrence Bryant/Reuters
- Stacey Abrams could be the most sought-after endorsement in 2020 if she doesn’t ultimately run, according to a new INSIDER poll.
- The poll showed Abrams has more name recognition than a number of Democrats who’ve already hopped in the ring for 2020.
- Abrams gained national attention while running for governor in Georgia in 2018.
- She’s a popular figure in a potential swing state that also happens to be adjacent to an early primary state – South Carolina.
Stacey Abrams could be the most valuable endorsement in 2020 if she decides not to run for president, according to the results of a new INSIDER poll.
Abrams, who gained national attention via her 2018 campaign for governor in Georgia, has far more name-recognition than a number of candidates who’ve already hopped in the race. This would give the rising Democratic star a big advantage.
According to INSIDER’s poll, 40 percent of voters are familiar with Abrams, which puts her on par with 2020 candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
It also makes the former Georgia state legislator even more recognizable than 2020 candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidates’ constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
Following indications that Abrams could be considering a run, she was added to the candidate list for the survey conducted March 22-23, 2019. For her first showing, Abrams did very well for a contender who had not yet even entered the race, even compared to candidates who had been in for weeks.
Abrams has flirted with the idea of hopping in the already crowded field of Democratic 2020 contenders.
Should she run, it’s difficult to project how she’d perform, given the complicated dynamics of such a large field and the smaller sample size we have for her supporters. Still, given her name recognition she’d be competitive against many already in the race.
The core takeaway from this preliminary survey, though, is that even if Abrams doesn’t run she’ll likely be sought-after by top candidates who want a boost from a popular, well-known Democratic politician.
Abrams is from a potential swing state that neighbors South Carolina, one of the early primary states. She also lost by a much more narrow margin in the gubernatorial race to her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, than other Democratic candidates have in recent high profile races.
In 2012, for example, then-GOP candidate Mitt Romney defeated former President Barack Obama in Georgia by a margin of roughly 8%. Similarly, President Donald Trump in 2016 defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Georgia by a margin of roughly 5%.
Comparatively, Abrams lost to Kemp by a margin of just 1.4% and amid allegations of rampant voter suppression in favor of the Republican candidate.
In recent days, Abrams has signaled she’s giving careful thought to running in 2020.
“I think the success I had in our election…positions me to be just as capable of becoming the President of the United States as anyone running,” Abrams said on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “My responsibility though, is to make sure I’m running for the right reasons and at the right time.”
"I think the success I had in our election… positions me to be just as capable of becoming the President of the United States as anyone running. My responsibility though, is to make sure I’m running for the right reasons and at the right time." — @staceyabrams on a 2020 run pic.twitter.com/8ZZq9wW0v2
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 27, 2019
Abrams also met with former Vice President Joe Biden in mid-March, prompting speculation she might hop on a ticket with him and run for vice president.
But Abrams squashed those rumors while speaking with “The View” on Thursday, stating, “I think you don’t run for second place…If I’m going to enter a primary, then I’m going to enter a primary.”
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,086 respondents collected March 22-23, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.13 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.