Democrats across the U.S. hope more voters who are against abortion bans will vote.
Although polls show that a majority of voters support keeping abortion legal, support for the idea fluctuates depending on whether additional questions are asked about how far along a woman is gestating and for what reasons. However, Democratic candidates don’t run as strongly in rural and suburban areas as those who support abortion rights. This suggests that voters are more likely to rely on other issues when making decisions at the polls. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs-v. Jackson Women’s Health was released Friday. While Democrats were disappointed, they were also encouraged that the issue might be top of mind in swing district.
“In the past, we have always discussed this issue as a threat but now we understand the court has stripped away basic rights for Minnesotans,” stated Sen. Erin Murphy (the St. Paul DFLer) who is leading her caucus campaign effort. She stated that the court’s statement that it was up each state to pass the abortion law made majority control of legislature vital for abortion politics.
In the past, abortion was less controversial. This was not because the decision that declared abortion constitutionally protected was many decades old. Murphy stated that even anti-abortion justices didn’t intend to change the precedent. She said that this has changed.
Both polls taken before and after the ruling suggest that voters are more likely now to make a decision about how they vote.
A MinnPost/Change Research poll showed widespread support for Roe being the law of the land. Although support for Roe was stronger in the Twin Cities than it was in Greater Minnesota, majority support was found across Minnesota. The suburbs have been the swing districts in the last two elections. The poll asked voters living in seven counties, but not including the cities of Minneapolis or St. Paul. A total ban on abortion was opposed by 69 percent of those living in the suburbs. However, 75% of respondents in the two largest cities voted for an abortion ban. This was also the case for 61% of the voters living outside of the cities and seven-county suburban/exurban regions.
Supporters of abortion are optimistic, but they don’t know if that support will translate into votes.
span style=”font weight: 400 You are asking the question that is on our minds,” stated Emily Bisek (VP of strategic communications, Planned Parenthood North Central States). “We don’t know yet if abortion is rising in priority for voters. It is speculated that Dobbs might change the .”
Moses Bratrud is the communications director at the Minnesota Family Council. He said that abortion is an important political issue.
Bratrud stated that anyone could be called pro-choice and still vote for a prolife candidate. I believe there are many thousands of Minnesotans who believed that abortion was a sad necessity in certain cases. But they are willing to hear the truth. They want the prolife movement to prove to them that abortion is not a net detriment to society. This is the work that we are doing, and I believe it will be evident at the poll box .”
Republican candidates praised the decision, but also stated that they would prefer to talk about other issues.
Scott Jensen, a GOP candidate for governor, was accused by Scott Walz. Tim Walz of favoring “up-to-the-moment-of-birth” abortions.
“font-weight 400 I would ask Minnesotans reflect carefully on that position, along many other distinctive differences such as gas prices, public safety, and inflation, and to choose better leadership that offers positive solution,” Jensen stated in a campaign statement. Walz’s staff didn’t respond to questions specific about his position. They stated that the state law governs when abortions can be legalized and that non-medical abortions cannot be performed beyond 24 weeks. Jensen was accused of distracting voters by claiming that he doesn’t support abortion beyond the moment of birth. A spokesperson for the campaign said Jensen does not support abortion in cases of rape or incest.
Jim Schultz, the GOP’s attorney general candidate, issued a similar statement. He praised the court decision but said that DFL Attorney General Keith Ellison would use the decision “to distract Minnesotans form the disastrous policies they have enacted”. He also cited inflation, high gas prices, and violent crime.
Both Ellison and Walz have taken official actions to protect access to abortion for both current residents as well as those who may travel to states that restrict or ban access. Walz signed an executive directive directing state agencies not to assist other states in attempting to punish or prevent abortion travel.
Ellison stated Friday that his office would defend anyone who wants to exercise their right to travel between states. He would also follow people who travel to Minnesota to defend their rights.
Ellison stated that if someone comes to Minnesota, and takes advantage of their constitutional rights, and then goes home, I will go with them and file motions in the court if they try to sue them for having an abortion in Minnesota.
A 1995 case by the state supreme court found that the privacy protections in the state constitution would allow women to have an abortion in the state. They can’t pass laws to overturn the case if anti-abortion Republicans gain control of the Governor’s Mansion and the Legislature. However, a GOP Legislature could send to the voters a constitutional amendment that would ban or limit abortion. The governors are not allowed to amend the constitution. A GOP governor could fill any state’s supreme court vacancies by appointing judges who might have different opinions on future abortion-related cases.
Kyle Kondik, a University of Virginia student, writes Monday that the fundamentals of the 2022 election favor the GOP. Primary reason is that the incumbent president’s party lost ground in Congress during 37 of the 40 previous elections. They gained ground three times when popular presidents had substantial issues in their favor.
President Joe Biden is not popular, but Kondik questions if the issue of abortion would have a significant impact on turning voters away from issues that favor Republicans, such as inflation, gas prices, and crime, to one that favors Democrats, like abortion.
span style=”font weight: 400 ;”>”As the Supreme Court makes Friday’s historic decision to throw out Roe and eliminate the constitutional right of abortion that was first established by the court a half century back, we must wonder if this is another unusual circumstance that confuses the usual midterm effect. Kondik wrote.
Kondik summarised the GOP’s view like this: ” Roe Vs. Wade disappearing isn’t going to make Biden suddenly popular nor will it crowd out the very real issues in the country which weigh Biden (and Democrats down).”
He noted that the first poll on the generic ballot that was taken after the ruling — “Would you vote for a Democrat for Congress?” — gave Democrats a first advantage. This advantage did not exist when the ruling was leaked.
“We’ll have to see if this is the start of a new trend or just a blip.” he wrote. We’ll need to see if this is the beginning of a new trend or just a blip span>
Kondik wrote that voters don’t reward parties who disrupt the status quo when it changes.
“Font-weight: 400 The Supreme Court, dominated largely by Republican appointees has just changed the state of the abortion status quo.” Kondik wrote.