SCOTUS abortion cases could affect GOP in midterm elections
After decades of fighting the Roe v. Wade, the Conservatives scored two major victories this month when the United States Supreme Court allowed a restrictive abortion law to go into effect in Texas and set a date to hear arguments about the issue. another in Mississippi later this year. .
But Republicans aren’t so sure the abortion issue will be a political winner before the 2022 midterm election.
While he has mainly energized a key slice of the GOP base since the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion, some Republican agents say the usual political dynamics may change now that activists on both sides see the potential for the Supreme Court controlled by the Conservatives to reduce or overthrow Roe v. Wade in the middle of an election year.
The Texas and Mississippi cases could serve as a wake-up call to liberals who do not consistently participate in midterm elections and to moderate suburban voters who support abortion rights but have not prioritized the issue in the past.
“I think what’s going on with the Texas and Mississippi affairs right now is it’s waking up a complacent majority,” Republican pollster Christine Matthews said. âPeople who generally support the right to a legal abortion with certain restrictions, but who didn’t really think it was in danger, are waking up to the idea that it could be drastically eliminated or virtually eliminated in some cases. ”
Recent polls have suggested that the Roe v. Wade remains popular with the public. National surveys conducted by Fox News, Marquette University, Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University after the Supreme Court ruled not to block a Texas law that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, everything has shown that less than a third of Americans support overturning the landmark 1973 ruling.
The Marquette and Quinnipiac polls also showed that a minority of Americans support banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is what Texas law is aimed at. Other controversial elements of Texas law, which allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and offers a financial reward if they are successful, garner even less support in the Monmouth poll. The first trials of this type were deposited Last week.
Despite negative public views on Texas law, lawmakers in several GOP-controlled states, including Florida, are moving forward with bills that reflect this following the Supreme Court ruling.
The problem is likely only to become more serious in the weeks and months to come, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Dec. 1 regarding a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Judges are expected to render a ruling on the case at some point next year, as the midterm election campaigns begin in earnest.
“I think it will be at the center of the elections,” said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Action Against Abortion. âPeople on both sides of the issue are very excited. Whether it’s one way or the other, I don’t know.
Abortion was not a major problem for voters in the last election. An Associated Press survey found that 3% of voters in the 2020 election said abortion was the biggest problem facing the country. Of those voters, 89% supported former President Donald Trump.
But there are signs the issue could be more important to a wider swath of the electorate in 2022. Following the Texas Supreme Court ruling earlier this month, a Morning Consult survey showed that the number of Democrats who said issues such as abortion and contraception were their top voting concern doubled from the end of August. New Fox News Poll also found that Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say the issue concerned them.
And one June survey from Democratic law firm Lake Research Partners discovered that if Roe v. Wade was canceled or severely limited, 59% of women who support abortion rights said they would be more motivated to vote, compared to 35% of anti-abortion women.
âThe pro-lifers have been more motivated in the past because the pro-choice side won in the courts,â former Republican Congressional National Committee chairman and Virginia representative Tom Davis said. “It might change that dynamic a bit.”
Regardless of the Supreme Court ruling in the Mississippi case, agents on both sides say issues such as the coronavirus pandemic and the economy are more likely to remain the top concerns of most voters.
But Matthews, the GOP pollster, said a candidate’s stance on abortion could still be a disqualifier for some voters, especially college-educated commuters who might otherwise have aligned themselves with Republicans in according to their economic policies.
âAbortion could be a deciding factor,â Matthews said. “It could expand the list of voters who will not consider voting for a Republican now.”
REPUBLICANS GET FUCKED
Democratic leaders have been much more candid about Supreme Court decisions than their Republican counterparts, even though anti-abortion activists have celebrated them.
After President Joe Biden pledged a “whole-of-government” response to Texas law, the Justice Department sued the state, with a hearing scheduled for Oct. 1. Democrats in the House of Representatives passed a law on Friday to protect abortion rights, though it is unlikely to make progress in the equally divided Senate.
On the campaign trail, Democrat Terry McAuliffe pledged to be a “brick wall” against efforts to roll back abortion rights in Virginia’s race for governor this fall, which both parties historically consider to be. an indicator for the midterm elections of the following year.
McAuiliffe’s campaign is over TV commercials with footage of his Republican opponent, Glenn Youngkin, telling a voter earlier this year that he can’t go “in violation” of his abortion stance because it “won’t win my independent votes that I need to get” .
Other prominent Republicans have tiptoed around the issue as well, or ignored it altogether. For example, former President Donald Trump, who appointed three conservative Supreme Court justices during his tenure, has not commented publicly on abortion issues since the Texas case.
Some Republicans say their party leaders will be more vocal on the issue once the Supreme Court rules on the Mississippi case and the future of Roe v. Wade will be clearer. For now, they see Democrats as trying to grasp a burning issue to energize their core supporters ahead of what has traditionally been a difficult midterm environment for the ruling party.
âEvery data point I’ve seen, the intensity, the enthusiasm, the energy is with Republicans at this point in the race,â Republican pollster Robert Blizzard said. âYou have to find something if you’re the Democrats to motivate your base, and that has the potential to motivate some on the left. But they could play with fire a bit and motivate some to the right as well. “
Some anti-abortion activists say that while they are confident their camp will be energized by the looming Supreme Court fight, they are unsure how it will affect the wider political landscape.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, chair of the anti-abortion list Susan B. Anthony, said her group is already knocking on voters’ doors in major battlefield states such as Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin. But Dannenfelser said she had not seen the “tsunami” of opposition from abortion rights advocates she expected.
âThey have everything to lose with Roe against Wade. Any reduction is a loss for them, âshe said. “There will be a revival, but we’ll see what this call does.”