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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Abortion Flip-Flops

Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses the state of the partiesThe state of the GOP is not good. Abortion was a big issue in the 2022 midtermIt will be a big issue in 2024.

Em Steck, Andrew Kaczynski, Marco Chacón and Patrick Gallagher, CNN
Republican candidates in close races across the country who once fervently backed severe abortion restrictions are shifting how they talk about the issue.

On social media, in public comments and in talking points on their websites, candidates are shying away from past hard-line positions and softening their stances. In some cases, the changes have been overt, with candidates reversing course on supporting outright bans on abortion or even denying they ever opposed it.

But in others, the shift has been more subtle and nuanced, with candidates altering or deleting previous statements, or de-emphasizing stances that had been more central to their platform just a few years ago.

CNN’s KFile examined more than a dozen competitive races at various levels and found examples of Republicans shifting or downplaying their positions on abortion following the Supreme Court’s landmark 2022 Dobbs decision that overturned a nationwide right for women to have an abortion.

Since that decision, voters have affirmed abortion rights in every state that has put the issue on the ballot. The 2022 midterm elections also saw a number of anti-abortion Republicans lose, dissolving GOP hopes for a ‘red wave’ that year.

Ahead of this year’s election, some of those losing candidates are trying to rebrand themselves by moderating their positions on abortion. Others, including some incumbents, are avoiding the issue entirely as anti-abortion rhetoric and policies are seen as politically toxic.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, announced on Monday that abortion rights should be left to the states, effectively punting on Republican calls for a federal abortion ban in what appears to be an effort to neutralize the politically fraught issue for his party up and down the ticket in November. Trump himself has shifted on abortion repeatedly over the past 25 years.