sunny.png
Thursday October 6th, 2022 7:31PM

Sudden abortion focus shakes midterm election landscape

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leaked draft of a Supreme Court abortion opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision is shaking the U.S. political landscape in what has been expected to be a difficult election year for Democrats.

While the Democrats decried the draft, they suddenly have a clear, unifying message. The real possibility that abortion could be outlawed in dozens of states in the coming months could animate their dejected base — especially young voters, people of color and suburban women, who are unhappy with the pace of progress under Democratic leadership in Washington.

Republicans, meanwhile, are struggling to contain their excitement at the prospect of winning a decades-long fight, even as they suggest Democrats are exaggerating the likely real-world impact of a Roe reversal.

The draft opinion surfaced just as the most competitive phase of the primary season was beginning, with races unfolding Tuesday in Ohio and Indiana. While the political fallout will take months to settle, this much is clear: Rarely in the modern era has a Supreme Court case had the potential to so dramatically reshape American life and politics.

“I hope that women across this country are going to rise up and realize this isn’t theoretical anymore," warned Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat.

Republicans have been fighting to ban abortion since before the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe ruling, but on Tuesday many offered only modest estimates of the political impact of a decision eliminating the legal guarantee of the right.

The draft ruling, which the court emphasized was not final, would become the law of the land only after a formal announcement, which is expected in late June or early July. And privately, GOP strategists have worried that overturning Roe ahead of the election could trigger an anti-Republican backlash.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, acknowledged that a sweeping change in the nation’s abortion laws might help Democrats in November, but he suggested the election would depend more on the state of the economy than the explosive social issue.

“They will have an issue to talk about. We will have an issue to talk about,” Graham said of Roe being overturned. “I think it will be a new issue, particularly at the state level, but I think most people, quite honestly, are not single-issue voters.”

Voters in some states would be affected more than others.

Twenty-two states in all, largely across the South, West and Midwest, already have total or near-total bans on their books — almost all now blocked in court because of Roe. They include deep-red states with elections this fall including Idaho, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah. But they also include high-profile swing states including Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

A White House adviser said a Roe reversal would serve as a galvanizing force for key segments of President Joe Biden's coalition, giving Democrats a clear message to link to the midterm elections. At the same time, the adviser, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal strategies, acknowledged that an abortion change might not be enough on its own to overcome political headwinds come November.

Biden's popularity remains weak amid increasing concerns about inflation and the direction of the country. History also suggests that the party that controls the White House almost always suffers losses in the first congressional elections of a new presidency.

In one ominous sign, grassroots Democratic fundraising, usually a mark of enthusiasm, was noticeably sluggish in the hours after the draft decision was leaked.

The Democratic fundraising platform, ActBlue, drew less than $3 million in donations between 6:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesday. By contrast, the platform took in $71 million in the 24 hours after former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

As Democratic officials across the nation tried to sound the alarm, Republicans were quietly confident.

“There are now three things in life you can count on: death, taxes and Dems overplaying any hand,” said Republican strategist Chris Wilson, who is involved in several top elections this year. He noted that Democrats in states like New York and California wouldn't be affected by abortion bans in Republican-led states.

For most Democrats, Wilson said, “life goes on exactly as usual.”

But there are several swing states with Republican-controlled legislatures where November elections for governor may ultimately decide a woman's right to abortion, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, among them.

Even in states unlikely to outlaw abortions in the short term, Democrats are hopeful that a renewed focus on the issue will help their candidates overcome the party's other political challenges.

New Jersey Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski, a top target of Republicans, cast this year’s election as centering on abortion rights, arguing that a GOP majority in Congress could pursue a nationwide ban that would overrule New Jersey’s law on the right.

“That’s the stake in this election in November that all of us have to remember," Malinowski said in an interview. "Are we going to preserve a majority in the House of Representatives, in the Senate that will protect 50 years of settled law in this country, that will protect a woman’s right to choose?”

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, among the nation's most vulnerable Democrats this fall, also seized on the issue as critical in their upcoming elections.

“Do not underestimate what this decision would mean for women in Nevada and across the country,” Cortez Masto said in an interview. “If this court issues a ruling to overturn Roe vs. Wade, it will enrage women across the country who have lived for the last almost 50 years the right to choose."

From New Hampshire, Hassan said the leaked opinion clarifies the stakes this fall for voters in her state and beyond. She called a potential Roe reversal "devastating to women all across New Hampshire, all across the country and for all people who really believe in our individual freedoms.”

An abortion focus would also offer a sharp contrast with her Republican opponents, whom she described as “extremists” on abortion.

“This is really a difficult day for Granite State women, American women,” Hassan said.

Some Republicans welcomed the fight.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, who leads the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, said her group's fundraising has surged all year in line with excitement over a potential Roe reversal. Social conservatives have been waiting for this moment for decades, she said.

“It’s a potential cultural, political sea change,” she said.

Sen. Rick Scott, chairman of the Republican Senate campaign arm, was more cautious.

“I think this is an important issue to many people, but so is inflation, so is crime, so is the border,” Scott said.

___

Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writers Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa; Brian Slodysko and Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington; and Mike Catalini in Lambertville, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Election 2022: Trump's endorsement power put to test in Ohio
Ohio Republicans are voting in one of the most contentious and closely watched Senate primaries in the nation
6:11PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Brazil's Senate to investigate after alleged Yanomami rape
The Human Rights Committee of the Brazilian Senate is sending a team to Yanomami territory in the Amazon rainforest after reports that a 12-year-old Indigenous girl was raped and murdered
6:06PM ( 10 minutes ago )
In Nigeria, UN chief welcomes reintegration of extremists
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has lauded Nigerian authorities' efforts to reintegrate repentant Boko Haram militants, saying the initiative is “the best thing we can do for peace.”
6:04PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
"Still in shock." Abortion defenders, foes stunned by leak
People on both sides of the abortion divide have been anticipating that the Supreme Court this summer would reverse the landmark 1973 Roe v
5:43PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Live updates | Kansas gov vows to fight for abortion rights
Kansas Gov_ Laura Kelly, a Democrat and strong abortion-rights supporter in a Republican-dominated state, has vowed to “continue to oppose all regressive legislation which interferes with individual rights or freedoms.”
5:31PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Condors soar again over Northern California coastal redwoods
The endangered California condor has returned to the skies over the state's far northern coast redwood forests for the first time in more than a century
5:30PM ( 46 minutes ago )
AP National News
What is Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion access case?
A leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision suggests the country’s highest court could be poised overturn Roe v
4:41PM ( 1 hour ago )
Possible overturning of Roe sends abortion fight to states
The bombshell leak of a draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark Roe v
4:32PM ( 1 hour ago )
Russia storms Mariupol plant as some evacuees reach safety
Ukrainian fighters say Russian forces have begun storming a sprawling steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol
4:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
Top General short headlines
Live updates | New Mexico gov vows to guard abortion access
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who signed a law last year that overturned the state’s long-dormant ban on most abortion procedures, has promised to safeguard local access to abortion services
4:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
Live updates | Ukraine: Russia hit railroads across country
Ukrainian officials say the Russian military has struck railroad infrastructure across the country
4:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
Live updates | Doctor says Texas ban gives post-Roe glimpse
Dr. Iman Alsaden, the medical director for Planned Parenthood Great Plains, says her organization has already had a glimpse of what a post-Roe v
4:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Live updates | History shows justices' votes can change
The text of a Supreme Court opinion and even the justices’ votes can change, sometimes dramatically, between the time they take a first vote on the case during a private conference following oral arguments and when the decision is announced
2:10PM ( 4 hours ago )
Live updates | Protests swell before fenced-in Supreme Court
Police have erected a low metal fence outside of the Supreme Court blocking access to all but the lowest level of the building’s steps and separating demonstrators into separate pens
1:52PM ( 4 hours ago )
Live updates | Explosions heard in western city of Lviv
Russian strikes have apparently targeted the western Ukraine city of Lviv
1:47PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Live updates | GOP Sen. Murkowski 'rocked' by abortion draft
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of the few Senate Republicans in favor of protecting abortion access, has reacted with alarm to the Supreme Court's draft opinion that would overturn Roe v
12:41PM ( 5 hours ago )
Live updates | Abortion foes applaud court's draft opinion
Abortion rights opponent Barbara Beavers stood outside Mississippi’s only abortion clinic next to two signs that read: “Ask me about free pregnancy tests & ultrasounds” and “You don’t have to do this today.”
12:31PM ( 5 hours ago )
Live updates | Warren says justices deserve scrutiny
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is calling out Republicans for focusing on trying to figure out who leaked the Supreme Court’s abortion draft resolution instead of what the court seems poised to do
12:19PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Supreme Court News
Starbucks reports record Q2 sales, enhances worker benefits
Starbucks’ sales climbed to record levels in its fiscal second quarter, but its profits took a hit from climbing labor and ingredient costs
5:28PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Stocks edge higher on Wall Street ahead of Fed rate decision
Stocks closed modestly higher on Wall Street Tuesday as investors await Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates
4:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
German opposition leader visits Kyiv, Scholz refuses to go
Germany’s conservative opposition leader has traveled to Kyiv for meetings with Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
4:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Stocks turn higher on Wall Street ahead of Fed rate decision
Stocks rose in afternoon trading on Wall Street Tuesday as investors await Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates
1:58PM ( 4 hours ago )
Stocks turn higher on Wall Street ahead Fed's rate decision
Stocks rose in afternoon trading on Wall Street Tuesday as investors await Wednesday’s decision by the Federal Reserve on interest rates
1:50PM ( 4 hours ago )
Live updates | Macron asks Putin to allow mill evacuations
The Elysee Palace says French President Emmanuel Macron stressed in a phone call with Vladimir Putin the extreme gravity of the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine
12:42PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Election 2022: Trump's endorsement power put to test in Ohio
Ohio Republicans are voting in one of the most contentious and closely watched Senate primaries in the nation
6:11PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Election 2022: Voters to decide Ohio's heated Senate primary
Ohio Republicans are voting in one of the most contentious and closely watched Senate primaries in the nation
6:03PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Biden blasts 'radical' Roe draft, warns other rights at risk
President Joe Biden is blasting what he calls a “radical” leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v
5:54PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Live updates | Protestors gather outside Supreme Court
Hundreds of protestors gathered in front of the Supreme Court as the day went on Tuesday
5:54PM ( 23 minutes ago )
'Still in shock.' Abortion defenders, foes stunned by leak
People on both sides of the abortion divide have been anticipating that the Supreme Court this summer would reverse the landmark 1973 Roe v
5:48PM ( 28 minutes ago )