WASHINGTON — While most Democrats believe it’s a winning issue for them, very few congressional races this election have placed the issue of abortion front-and-center like the rematch between Rep. Angie Craig (Republican) and Republican Tyler Kistner.
According to polls, many Democrats feel that the Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe V. Wade has given them a boost in an election year that was predicted to be very difficult for them. The issue of abortion will also resonate in other districts in the state.
It’s the race for the 2!
Analysts rate District congressional seat a “toss-up” and abortion dominates the debate. This is largely due to Craig’s attention on the issue as well as the support she received from ads that were run by a PAC that aligns with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which slams Kistner on abortion. Kistner was put on the defensive by those ads, which provoked heated responses from the Minnesota Republican Party.
“Democrats are desperate to make this election about abortion because they know that they can’t defend the economic and public safety records of their past – their only choice is to deliberately mislead those they claim to represent,” stated Nick Majerus, a spokesperson for the Minnesota GOP.
Yes, Democrats have made abortion a campaign issue. This puts Republicans on guard and interferes with GOP efforts for the midterm to be a referendum on crime and the economy.
The recent introduction of Senate and House bills that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of gestation in most cases has not made it easier for Republican candidates in swing areas. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, was applauded by Republicans including Sen. Lindsey Graham. He said that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe and allowed states to create their own abortion policies.
A federal bill would restrict abortion rights in all 50 states, which includes Minnesota. Minnesota permits abortions up to “viability,” which refers to the stage in pregnancy where a fetus is mature enough to be able survive without assistance from the uterus. This usually occurs between 24 and 26 weeks into a pregnancy.
The latest salvo from the Craig camp is the establishment of a site, www.TylerKistner.com, that says the Republican is “too extreme” for Minnesota, largely because of his abortion stand.
Craig stated, “There is a stark difference between my GOP opponent… and me on reproductive right.” “Look, it couldn’t have been clearer.”
Craig stated that she is pushing Kistner to abort because it’s a crucial issue for her constituents. Together with other Democrats in Congress, she voted for a bill to codify Roe V. Wade to undo the Supreme Court’s actions. The Senate didn’t follow suit as the Senate had 60 votes to overcome the expected GOP filibuster.
Craig stated that a Democratic majority in the House is necessary to protect abortion rights, as well as other rights, which might be considered by the high court. Justice Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion on the abortion decision, stated that cases concerning contraceptives and same sex marriages need to be reviewed.
Craig, who is married with a woman, said that “to me it’s private.” It’s a violation of my privacy and personal freedoms.”
Kistner claims Craig misrepresents his position on abortion.
MinnPost has heard from him that he supports an abortion ban, except in cases where a woman is being raped or incest. He was asked whether he supported Graham’s legislation at a Chamber Coalition of Dakota County candidate forum.
Kistner twice replied that “This decision should not be left up to federal government.”
Tyler Dunn, Kistner’s campaign spokesperson, also reiterated these positions in a statement to MinnPost.
Dunn stated that Tyler Kistner had repeatedly said that he supports exceptions to rape, incest and the life of a mother. He believes this should be decided by states and not the federal government. ”
The GOP candidate has made a variety of statements about abortion, even though he has never been elected to political office.
Kistner’s campaign website stated that he was 100% pro-life when he ran against Craig in 2020. He recently stated that Graham’s bill was reasonable, despite his support of abortion rights in states.
Kistner indicated that he supports efforts to create a pro-life nation by answering a questionnaire provided by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.
The questionnaire stated that the strategic plan was an incremental approach that allows for the most lives to be saved, while working towards our ultimate goal of respecting human life in laws and culture.
Craig claims that Kistner supports this “strategic Plan” because Craig believes it means Kistner will eventually support banning all abortions.
Dunn stated that Craig’s votes to codify Roe were a sign of support for the legislation. would “allow abortion until the moment of death.”
Roe did not allow that. They only allowed late-term abortions when the mother’s life was at risk. The Minnesota Department of Public Health reports that only 1.8% of the 10,000 abortions performed in Minnesota in 2021 occurred after 20 weeks. Nearly all 161 abortions occurred in the 21st to 22nd week of a pregnancy.
However, Congress passed Roe legislation that would allow a doctor to “good faith judge” after the period of fetal viability, if “the continuation or continued pregnancy would pose a danger to the patient’s health or life.”
Republicans believe that those who voted in favor of the “Women’s Health Protection Act” support abortion right up until the moment of birth.
Dunn also criticized Craig for voting against the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”, which would have required care to an infant who survives an abortion. Democrats claim that the current laws guarantee infants’ legal right.
Kistner’s support for restrictions on abortion might not be popular with all voters in the 2 District.
Recent NBC News polls focused on the “persuadable voters” in five “battlegrounds” congressional districts throughout the country, including Craig’s suburban and exurban districts. According to the poll, while there are many solid Democratic voters and solid Republican votes in every election there are also some voters who are less certain of their position. These are the “persuadables.”
This year, 43% of persuadable voters reside in the suburbs. According to the poll, 21%-23% of persuadable voters reside in the nation’s urban core counties, and near-in urban rings counties. Rural counties only have 12%.
About 54% of undecided voters voted against the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe. The bad news for Craig, and other Democrats running to the battleground districts was that 63% disapprove of President Biden’s economic management.
These persuadables will be the main targets of a slew of TV ads funded by Craig and Kistner and other groups supporting Craig and Kistner. The ads will air on the airwaves through Election Day. These third-party ads have already cost more than $10 million.
Kyle Kondik, University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, stated that Democrats feel they are on solid ground when it comes to abortion and are therefore taking the issue to the streets. “The message might be more appropriate for districts such as MN-2 which have significant suburban segments that are arguably in the Democratic trend. It is not clear if Craig will win, but Democrats believe they have a winner here. ”
A higher level of anxiety
The 2 nd district race isn’t the only contest for congressional seats in the state where Democrats are making abortion a major issue.
Democrat Jeff Ettinger is challenging Rep. Brad Finstad (R-1).
He will run his first TV ad in October, which will focus on the candidate’s views on abortion.
Finstad won a special election against Ettinger by four percentage points last month to temporarily replace the seat of Rep. Jim Hagedorn. Ettinger stated that he believes the abortion issue will benefit Democrats in November’s general elections, particularly since it has helped Democrats in other special election this year. Ettinger also pointed out that Kansas’s overwhelming support for a ballot initiative that would have denied the right to abortion was rejected.
Ettinger stated that after the Supreme Court’s decision in June regarding Roe had been issued, “the anxiety level and interest level of voters has increased.”
He stated that he supports Roe, and that if elected to Congress, he would vote for codification of the 1973 opinion which said that abortion regulation by states that are too restrictive is unconstitutional.
Ettinger stated that the overturning of Roe had “now created state-by-state disorder.”
Finstad’s campaign didn’t respond to our requests for comments.
He told KIMT, a television station, in May, that he was pro-life, but not before the Supreme Court’s decision, but after a draft of that decision was leaked to the media, that he was “100% prolife.”
Finstad stated to KIMT that “We must protect and uphold life’s sanctity.” “With the leaked documents and if Supreme Court does follow this path, then it returns to the states. It becomes a more localized issue and the states can have a voice in it.” The best form of government I believe is the one that’s the most localized.
The race for the 3 rd District congressional seat is also a matter of abortion between Rep. Dean Phillips, and his Republican opponent Tom Weiler.
Weiler, like most GOP candidates, is focusing his campaign on crime and inflation. He will air his first commercial next month, which will highlight these issues and introduce himself to three District voters.
Weiler stated, “I’m focused only on what’s most important.” “Our priorities haven’t changed at all.”
Weiler stated that he was “pro-life” and opposed abortion, except in cases of rape and incest. He said that he supports the idea of states being able to decide their own abortion laws.
Weiler did not say whether he would vote for the federal bill restricting abortion that supporters claim they will present again in the next Congress. He said it was “hypothetical” and had not seen the language.
Phillips is responding to GOP attacks on Democrats regarding crime and inflation by supporting legislation in Congress that would finance police and those that aim to lower inflation. But, like other Minnesota Democrats his campaign views abortion a winning issue.
Phillips, a member of Congress’ Pro-Choice Caucus, has called the repeal of Roe “dangerous” and “shortsighted”, and voted to codify Roe.
Phillips stated, “As the father of two daughters, one living in an abortion-free state, I am outraged they have had a deep personal liberty withdrawn by their country.” Based on regular conversations with progressive and conservative women voters, I know they share my outrage and will be expressing it this November.