Shaking my head
- Aug 26, 2010
- Reaction score
I'm no strategist, but I think Democrat politicians running for election this year need to showcase the fact that the Republicans have assured a nation-wide abortion ban when they gain power again. There is a lot of apathy, and I'm afraid that apathy could continue. If Democrats run on "We will enshrine the right to abortion for everyone", I'm not sure that will be effective, because that has been promised by both President Obama and President Biden and hasn't ever come to fruition. People are disillusioned.
While it seems like abortion should be a major voting incentive for liberals and the left, I don't think it can be alone because they're just going to be like "What difference does it make who's in power? Democrats are in power right now and this still happened!". Yes, this viewpoint is not looking at the whole picture, but that ignorance is just going to be a thing. Running on, "if you don't vote for us, we can't stop this from happening", that may be a better strategy. I don't know.
Liberals and leftists also don't seem to care enough about damage control, as we saw with the 2016 election. I just don't know how to best approach this, but this abortion issue can completely fail to incentivize liberal/left voters if they aren't given some solid reason to know that Democrats in office are going to make a difference. The only real way to get that point out is that the Republicans will make a nation-wide ban if they get into power. It won't get through a Democrat House and Senate, and that's an easy to swallow fact.
Everything was going right for Republicans in the midterm campaign. Then the Supreme Court decision came down.
Republicans finally got the Roe v. Wade decision they wanted, and in public, they are delighted.
More quietly, however, according to interviews with more than a dozen Republican strategists and party officials, they just didn’t want it to come right now — not during a midterm election campaign in which nearly everything had been going right for the GOP.
“This is not a conversation we want to have,” said John Thomas, a Republican strategist who works on House campaigns across the country. “We want to have a conversation about the economy. We want to have a conversation about Joe Biden, about pretty much anything else besides Roe … This is a losing issue for Republicans.”
The decision, issued Friday, was a landmark victory for conservatives who have held up overturning Roe as an ambition of near-biblical significance, fundraising, organizing and legislating off opposition to abortion rights for nearly half a century.
But it’s a victory that will almost certainly come at a cost. In Republican circles, a consensus has been forming for weeks that the court’s overturning of a significant — and highly popular — precedent on a deeply felt issue will be a liability for the party in the midterms and beyond, undercutting Republicans to at least some degree with moderates and suburban women.
Before Roe came down, said a former Republican congressman familiar with the party’s campaign operation, “Everything was going our way. Gas is above $5. Inflation is a giant problem.”
“The only thing [Democrats] have got going for them is the Roe thing, which is what, 40 years of settled law that will be changed that will cause some societal consternation,” said the former congressman, granted anonymity to speak candidly. “And can they turn that into some turnout? I think the answer is probably ‘Yes.’”
“Maybe instead of losing 45 seats, they lose 30,” he said, while at a minimum, “there will be a few seats that Republicans would have won without [the abortion rights decision], and they may not win them now.”
One Republican operative familiar with polling in federal and state races and spoke on condition of anonymity said the most important impact may be on swing voters who lean Republican. “It takes a sizeable bloc of voters who were leaning [Republican], and it gives them reason to vote Democrat,” he said. “And they haven’t had any reason to vote Democrat in quite a while.”
But even if Roe alone is not sufficient to remake the midterms in Democrats’ favor, it could fit into what Longwell called an “overall case the Democratic Party should be prosecuting against Republicans” — wedding Roe with the court’s decision the previous day on gun control, among other issues, to depict the post-Donald Trump GOP as one still animated by extremes.
On Friday, the court provided fodder for that line of attack, when Justice Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, argued the court “should reconsider” protections for contraception access and same-sex marriage. And the post-Roe fallout itself will reverberate in states for months, focusing attention on state-level campaigns as red-leaning states prepare to enact restrictions.
Already, Republicans are wincing at the consequences. In the swing state of Pennsylvania, Democrats have been pummeling the Republican gubernatorial nominee, Doug Mastriano, for a position opposing abortion rights that includes no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother. In Georgia, another swing state, the Republican U.S. Senate nominee, Herschel Walker, is facing similar criticism. In a message that Democrats will likely repeat for months, incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock issued a fundraising appeal on Friday afternoon with the subject line: “Our opponent says he wants a total ban on abortion.”