This weekend, Georgia Democrats experienced a complete meltdown at the Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta as supporters of gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans clashed and shouted down one another, further dividing Democrats amid growing infighting. When Evans took the stage to speak, she was loudly booed by Abrams supporters who interrupted her speech with shouts and jeers, even leading to scuffling between audience members. The increasingly ugly primary between Abrams and Evans has drawn comparisons to last year’s contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as internal Democratic fissures have “deepened” since the Presidential election. As Abrams and Evans supporters continue to viciously fight it out for their party’s gubernatorial nomination, Georgia Democrats grow further divided, weakening their chances of unifying for victory in 2018.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
“As soon as Democrat Stacey Evans took the podium to introduce herself to thousands of liberal activists Saturday, protesters supporting her rival for governor arrayed in front of her. Thunderous chants from Stacey Abrams’ backers overwhelmed her words. Evans left the stage to a smattering of boos, and a minor scuffle broke out in the audience.
The nation’s leading liberal activists came to Atlanta for the Netroots Nation conference spoiling to sharpen their fight with President Donald Trump. But they proved just as willing to poke, prod and pummel their fellow Democrats.
Primary challengers to long-serving Democrats were treated like stars. Panels instructed the 3,000 or so activists how to wrest control of their local parties. Others encouraged them to challenge establishment Democrats, whether they be on local school boards or in Congress, if they aren’t liberal enough.
If anything was clear, the internal Democratic fissures sharpened by Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign have solidified, if not deepened, since Trump’s election. In panels and in side conversations, organizers talked about forcing Democrats toward more liberal policies, such as single-payer health care and free college tuition.”