Of course, every Democrat says the party needs to do both — expand the overall pie of voters while also reaching to slice off a bigger share of it. But there's a question of priorities.
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As Jim Galloway, a veteran columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, put it, Georgia Democrats have a choice between "immediate gratification and fundamental realignment."
Evans represents the more conventional approach, while Abrams supporters say recent defeats by famous-named white Democrats like Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter show the old model doesn't work anymore.
Last summer, progressive activists disrupted Evans' speech to the Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta by chanting "trust black women" the entire time she was on stage.
Abrams is the favorite heading into Tuesday's contest, with polls giving her a double-digit lead, though many voters remain undecided.
About 50 percent of the Democratic electorate in the state's presidential primary in 2016 was black, according to exit polls, with white voters making up less than 40 percent.
Abrams doesn't fit the historical profile of candidates Democrats have run for statewide office in the South.
The former minority leader of the Georgia State House was the first woman and the first African-American to lead either party in the chamber. And she's first black woman to run for governor in a state whose flag included the Confederate Stars and Bars until 2001.
She is unmarried and the author, under the pen name Selena Montgomery, of a series of successful romance novels with steamy titles like "Hidden Sins," "The Art Of Desire," and "Reckless."
National figures have overwhelmingly lined up behind Abrams, who is better known outside the state, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Emily's List, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, and more.
"When you are with her and the voters, you can feel how much that authenticity and empathy cuts across the traditional race and class and issue lines and is an answer to the cynicism that pervades today's politics," said Ilyse Hogue, the president NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Some Evans supporters, meanwhile, chafe at all the out-of-state intervention.
"This election is not won in Washington D.C. It is won right here, in Georgia," former Georgia governor Roy Barnes said in a statement provided by Evans' campaign. "Georgians aren't laying up worrying about what Washington D.C. wants or some national party divide."
And Abrams made some enemies in the state during her tenure as minority leader, especially for a deal she cut with Republicans during the recession that slashed funding to the state's HOPE scholarship fund.
Evans, who was the first in her family to go to college because of the HOPE program, has made the cut a central focus of her campaign.
While most of the state's African-American leaders have backed Abrams, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the civil rights icon, there are some notable exceptions, like Atlanta's newly elected mayor.
Whichever Stacey wins will face a uphill battle in November, though not an impossible one, Democrats say.
Hillary Clinton came within five points of winning Georgia — much closer than in traditional swing states like Ohio and Iowa. Meanwhile, Republicans have their own heated primary to replace Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who is term-limited.
And in a sign of Democrats' bullishness about Georgia, the Democratic National Committee chose Atlanta to host a major July fundraiser, and put the city on their 2020 convention shortlist.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez said the party is starting to make investments in the state it hopes will pay off.
"We're playing chess, we're not playing checkers anymore," he told NBC News.