Georgia Voters React To 2018 Midterms Ads (HBO)

On the eve of Georgia’s tight and contentious governor’s race, Republican and Democratic voters in an Atlanta focus group spoke in generally positive terms about a Stacey Abrams ad showing her family life, but they broke along party lines to argue about a Brian Kemp ad that played on similar themes.

The responses appeared to demonstrate how a viewer’s sense of the authenticity of candidates determines the success of their ads. The group was convened by conservative pollster Frank Luntz, who has led four focus groups in all with VICE News during the lead-up to the midterms. The group of twenty voters—ten Abrams supporters and ten Kemp supporters—said that an ad featuring Abrams hosting a large family dinner at her house conveyed a sense of humanity and tradition.

“She’s talking about faith. She’s talking about family. It’s everything that I think Georgia is about,” said Joan Bruce, 56, a self-described moderate conservative who voted from Trump in 2016 and who supports Kemp for governor.

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