Paul Kane at The Washington Post has an op-ed out where he highlights a “confluence of events” that give Rev. Raphael Warnock (D. GA) an edge in taking out vulnerable corrupt U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler (R. GA) in the upcoming special election:
Warnock, as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, oversaw the nationally televised funeral of John Lewis, the congressman and civil rights icon whose stature brought three presidents to Warnock’s pulpit for eulogies.His bid to become Georgia’s first Black senator had already begun to find its footing after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the ensuing protests. And Tuesday, as the WNBA launched its pandemic-delayed season, many players adorned “VOTE WARNOCK” warm-up shirts before games, including those on the Atlanta Dream.That’s the team Loeffler owns, a protest to the senator’s public opposition to basketball players embracing the Black Lives Matter movement.Now Warnock gets to test something he highlighted when he launched his long-shot campaign on Jan. 30, touting his rise from one of 12 children growing up in the Savannah projects to running the church the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. used as his civil rights platform.
While we cannot know the political affiliation of every WNBA player, there's little doubt that the league leans left. The league has supported a number of organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, regularly bashed by Republicans. And long before most men's sports encouraged social activism to the degree they do now, the WNBA was promoting campaigns such as a Women's March video and the Take A Seat/Take a Stand promotion.
When you examine the fan base of the WNBA, you can see that the WNBA doesn't really need to fret losing fans taking up left-leaning causes.A look across polls and studies reveals that WNBA fans are much more likely than the general population to be in groups that lean Democratic. WNBA fans are more likely to be women, have college degrees and be Black adults. In fact, the limited data that we do have suggests that more WNBA fans lean Democratic than any of the major male professional sport leagues (e.g. MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL).
But Republicans in Georgia are betting the state is still red enough that they can win by fully embracing the president. The strategy may have been obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy for Loeffler to pull off. It has been a rough crash course for the political neophyte. She was sworn in at the onset of Trump’s heated impeachment trial. Then the Department of Justice investigated whether she engaged in insider trading after she sold $1 million in stock following a February coronavirus briefing. (DOJ closed its investigation in May.) Several polls that month showed her tied with Collins, who is her most formidable GOP opponent in the crowded race.
But in the wake of the investigation and nationwide social justice protests against racism and police violence, Loeffler seems to have found her voice.
And it sounds an awful lot like Donald Trump’s.
Let’s prove Loeffler wrong that Georgia isn’t Red, it’s Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Warnock, Ossoff, Biden and their fellow Georgia Democrats campaigns: