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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Abortion Politics One Year After Dobbs

The boost Democrats received from the abortion issue from last year’s midterm elections through downballot races so far in 2023 has been well documented. And the latest round of polling shows that momentum continues.

In addition to holding the majority, supporters of abortion rights are more motivated by the issue than opponents — a major shift from before Dobbs. According to Gallup, 33 percent of voters who identify as “pro-choice” say they would only support a candidate for office who agreed with their position, while just 23 percent of “pro-life” voters say the same thing.

And because there are more “pro-choice” voters than “pro-life” ones, the numbers break out like this: 17 percent of the total electorate is composed of “pro-choice” voters who would only support candidates who favor abortion rights, while 10 percent of all voters are “pro-life” and would only vote for abortion-rights opponents.

Dating back to 1996, abortion-centric “pro-life” voters outnumbered “pro-choice” ones in every Gallup poll until 2022, and there’s been no change since that first flipped last May.

A new Monmouth poll out this week underscores how fundamental abortion rights have become for Democrats. Among all Americans, abortion and women’s rights (19 percent) ranked third behind freedom of speech (26 percent) and gun rights (21 percent) when asked about the specific types of rights they worry about losing. But for Democrats, abortion and women’s rights (36 percent) was far and away the rights they see as most under threat, easily ahead of freedom of speech (14 percent) and voting rights (12 percent).

Jeremy White et al. at Politico:
Through it all, few have been more aggressive than Newsom in forcing the issue and inserting California into state-level standoffs. In the months after decrying national Democrats’ anemic response, he bought billboards in red states advertising California as an abortion haven, moved to cut off Walgreens for succumbing to Republican pressure on abortion medication (The outcome was more complicated.) and responded to a Texas law authorizing payouts to people who sue abortion providers by pushing a California version for guns, hoping to force a legal reckoning.

Abortion access may be settled law in the state Newsom leads, but he always has an eye on the bigger picture. The governor has raised money for President Joe Biden and his own PAC by lambasting Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on abortion restrictions. When a Texas judge blocked approval of an abortion drug, Newsom let his donors know California was stockpiling pills — and asked for $20 to “fight back everywhere rights are under attack.”

Rachel Bade at Politico:

Former President Donald Trump avoids talking about the matter almost entirely. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in the middle of the night in April, and has barely spoken about it since. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) originally waffled on whether he’d support a nationwide abortion ban. And former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been vague about how she’d handle the issue as president.

Then there’s former Vice President Mike Pence.

More than any other Republican candidate, the former vice president has staked his pitch to voters on his unabashed “pro-life” stance.

While some Republicans — including Trump and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — say that in a post-Roe America, abortion policy should be left up to the states, Pence has endorsed a nationwide ban on the medical procedure at 15 weeks of gestation.

While some Republicans say the party shouldn’t weigh in on banning widely used abortion drugs, Pence’s 501(c)(4) group Advancing American Freedom has filed an amicus brief supporting a challenge to the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the most widely used abortion pill in the country.