Democrats Ride Abortion Issue to Victory While GOP Struggles to Navigate
With that memorable description, Sen. J.D. Vance, Republican from Ohio, spoke for many of his fellow partisans as Democrats racked up decisive victories in major races across the country where abortion was a leading issue.
“For pro-lifers, last night was a gut punch,” Vance wrote in a lengthy series of tweets on X, formerly Twitter. “No sugar coating it.”
But don’t give up, Vance reassured his allies. “Giving up on the unborn is not an option,” he tweeted. “It’s politically dumb and morally repugnant. Instead, we need to understand why we lost this battle so we can win the war.”
Why? For one thing, the public is not on his side. A Gallup Poll in June found a record 69% supported legalizing first-trimester abortions and a near-record 34% who said abortion should be legal in all cases.
At the same time, polls confirm what just about everybody who is paying attention already knows. Political parties are more polarized on the issue than ever.
In elections since last year’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, in which the Supreme Court overturned the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion, Democrats clearly turned their own outrage into a rallying cry — and votes.
Ohio became the seventh state since Dobbs to pass a ballot initiative to establish the right to abortion in its state Constitution.
Abortion also helped state lawmakers in Virginia take majority control of both legislative chambers and propelled the reelection of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in Kentucky — leaving some Democrats observing that the “choice” issue is more popular in the polls than President Joe Biden.
But that’s OK, say leading Democrats, who intend to play their advantage on this issue for all it’s worth.
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