Marcus Flowers should start a band.
He’s got the Stetson and the bass in his voice, and an affable plain-spoken way with an audience. And if the way he was swarmed at the Georgia Democratic state convention earlier this month is any indication, he’s got the fans. From the moment he took the stage until the hour Stacey Abrams left it, the congressional candidate was mobbed by supporters looking for photos and a word, and an autograph now and again.
“I enjoy it. Yeah, I enjoy people. I enjoy having conversations. But that was too much,” he said later, with a sly guffaw at the absurdity. “I couldn’t even eat. I had to go get lunch in the car.”
Some of this is because of who he is: a young, moderate military veteran incensed by the January 6 Capitol attack. Much of it is because of who he isn’t: his opponent, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Half the country hates her, and not without reason. She’s become the face of the Christian nationalist movement in America. Greene was also a prominent and vocal election denialist in right-wing extremist circles leading up to the Capitol riot. Her bigoted public comments led to her being stripped of House committee assignments; her spreading of Covid-19 misinformation got her suspended from Facebook. On any given day, she’s bound to say or do something inflammatory and stupid. Just Thursday, she posted video on Twitter of her apparently kicking an 18-year-old gun control activist. Posting things like this, even when it is vile, has the benefit of drawing attention.
Attention — and money. To her, and now to Flowers.
Both Greene and Flowers raised more than $10 million each through the end of July. To date, they are running the most expensive congressional race in America so far this cycle, in a contest that should not be competitive by the laws of political physics.
No national group rates this district as competitive. None of that $10 million is from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which invests in competitive House races. And yet, hundreds of thousands of people are laying $20 bets on Flowers. Because fuck Marjorie Taylor Greene, that’s why. (Even I feel marvelous saying it.)
They are running the most expensive congressional race in America so far this cycle, in a contest that should not be competitive by the laws of political physics.