The candidate who lost the election did not concede, on the grounds that the race was stolen by the opponent who wound up taking office. Now, a rematch presents the opportunity to rectify that injustice in an epic do-over.

No, not the hypothetical 2024 rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. This one is set to happen much sooner, as Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams prepares to take on incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA). Abrams is no less convinced than Trump she won Georgia and the election the last time she was on the ballot — or that Kemp is to blame for the fact she does not currently hold office.

Abrams has taken pains to distance herself from the Trump “stop the steal” comparisons, especially after last year’s Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by the former president’s disgruntled supporters. She told CNN late last year that Kemp, who was the sitting secretary of state during their 2018 race, "won under the rules of the game at the time, but the game was rigged against the voters of Georgia."

"I, on November 16, 2018, acknowledged at the top of my speech that Brian Kemp is the governor of Georgia, and I even wished him well at the end of the speech," Abrams said. "And in the middle, I talked about the fact we had a system that he managed, that he manipulated, hurt Georgia voters, and the responsibility of leaders is to challenge systems that are not serving the people."

She added that she was "very well aware for three years I am not the governor of Georgia" but nevertheless has a "responsibility ... to challenge a system that would rob a single voice from being able to be heard if they are eligible.”

Yet on April 28, 2019, the headline in the New York Times read, “Why Stacey Abrams Is Still Saying She Won.” “It was largely because I could not prove what had happened, but I knew from the calls that we got that something happened,” she told the newspaper of her refusal to concede, later adding, “So many people were disenfranchised and disengaged by the very act of the person who won the election that I feel comfortable now saying, ‘I won.’”

Abrams then said, “My larger point is, look, I won because we transformed the electorate, we turned out people who had never voted, we outmatched every Democrat in Georgia history.” It’s a nonconcession concession. Trump ultimately moved out of the White House and has acknowledged the Biden administration exists.

But throughout the campaign, Abrams’s voter suppression claims will be given a more respectful hearing than Trump’s cries of voter fraud. Unlike “release the Kraken,” there is the 2018 Associated Press investigation showing that a large majority of the 53,000 voters whose registrations were put on hold because their voter information didn’t match what was on file with the Social Security Administration or Georgia’s Department of Driver Services were black.

“Trump is alleging voter fraud, which suggests that people were trying to vote more than once,” Abrams told the Times. Trump offers no empirical evidence to meet his claims. I make my claims based on empirical evidence, on a demonstrated pattern of behavior that began with the fact that the person I was dealing with was running the election.” A Washington Post fact-checker who tried to remain agnostic on this question still concluded there was no definitive evidence for Abrams’s claims.

What is beyond dispute is that Abrams is awash in cash. Her campaign raised more than $9 million in the two months after she announced she was running again. She hauled in another $11.7 million earlier this year, generally outpacing Kemp and his Republican primary challenger, former Sen. David Perdue.

Left-wing billionaire George Soros has poured $1 million into Abrams’s political action committee. Since the leaked draft opinion showing a Supreme Court majority for reversing Roe v. Wade, she has taken to asking supporters to donate to abortion rights groups, suggesting she has money to go around.

Abrams’s biggest problem is that 2022 isn’t 2018, even after Democrats won both Georgia Senate runoffs last year. Kemp leads her by 5.2 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics polling average, with several surveys showing the incumbent above 50%. (Perdue is up by 3 over Abrams in the same average.) It figures to be a good year for Republicans.

While Kemp faces 2018 questions in the general election, he’s relitigating 2020 in the primary. Trump has endorsed Perdue, despite the latter's low poll numbers in the race, making himself the biggest, and perhaps only, remaining obstacle to this Georgia rematch actually happening.

W. James Antle III is the Washington Examiner's politics editor.

Sinking Ship

How the mighty have fallen. When David Perdue won the 2014 GOP primary for the U.S. Senate, it was a surprising win. After all, outside of sharing the same last name as his cousin Sonny (the former Georgia governor and agriculture secretary in the Trump administration), Perdue had never held public office. Several of his competitors were sitting congressmen, such as Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey. Despite the view that Kingston was more conservative than Perdue, the latter prevailed in the runoff, winning 50.9% of the vote, thanks to business-friendly voters in the Atlanta area.

In the general election, he easily defeated Michelle Nunn (daughter of longtime Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn). He established himself as a standard-bearer conservative voice in the upper chamber of Congress.

And then, the 2020 election happened. To maintain Donald Trump's support, Perdue had to go along with the "stolen election" narrative that wound up backfiring in the two Senate races. Perdue and Kelly Loeffler lost to Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock in runoffs, handing the majority in the Senate to the Democrats.

Trump targeted Gov. Brian Kemp for refusing to help overturn the results in Georgia, and when the time came for a primary opponent, Trump looked to Perdue. Trump assumed enough anger among the electorate to unseat Kemp, but that doesn't look like it will happen. Not even close.

Relying primarily on the false stolen election narrative, not only did Perdue not find any footing, but it's failed to resonate at all. In the RealClearPolitics polling average, Kemp leads Perdue by 22 points, an astonishing figure. The last four polls have Kemp well above the 50% threshold required to avoid a runoff.

Unlike J.D. Vance, who got a boost from a Trump endorsement, it is unlikely to work out for David Perdue. As a result, we rate his campaign a sinking ship. — Jay Caruso

Dim Bulb

For someone who is a United States senator and a former professor at Harvard University, Elizabeth Warren should have a firmer grasp of math. However, following a recent vote in which the Senate failed to pass a bill codifying Roe v. Wade (although it went much further), she spoke to reporters. She said, "I believe in democracy, and I don't believe the minority should have the ability to block things that the majority wants to do. That's not in the Constitution. ... It's time to get rid of the filibuster."

There is only one problem. The vote failed 51-49. We aren't Nobel Prize-winning mathematicians around here, but we do know that 51 out of 100 constitutes that thing known as a majority.

Someone alert Sen. Warren. — Jay Caruso