• Tue. Sep 28th, 2021

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Supreme Court Case Throws Abortion Into 2022 Election Picture

Senator Rick Scott of Florida, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, downplayed the potential effect of the court ruling, though he said that as an abortion opponent he welcomed the court taking up the case. But Mr. Scott said he believed voters would be more persuaded by what he described as the Biden administration’s failings on issues such as immigration, the economy, taxes, inflation and more.

While the lines have always been starkly drawn on abortion into the pro and anti camps, public opinion has proved more nuanced, with a clear majority backing Roe but majorities also favoring some limits. How the Supreme Court comes down on the fine points of abortion law could determine how the issue plays in the elections.

“Considering the decision will likely be made five months ahead of the election, and depending on the decision itself, it’s too early to measure its ultimate impact on the midterms,” said Nathan Gonzales, the editor of the nonpartisan Inside Elections. Mr. Gonazales said it could conceivably energize Republicans but also pay benefits for Democrats — a view shared by others.

President Donald J. Trump helped inspire record turnout last year from Democratic voters, who were eager to reject his administration. With Mr. Trump no longer on the ballot, many Democrats say the Supreme Court case could provide crucial midterm motivation, particularly for suburban women in swing districts who were instrumental in Democratic wins last year.

Katie Paris, the founder of Red, Wine and Blue, a group focused on organizing suburban female voters for Democrats across the country, said the Supreme Court news immediately touched off alarm on the Facebook groups and other social media channels run by her organization.

“When the news came out that this was going to be taken up, it was like, ‘Everybody get ready. This is real,’” she said. “We know what this court could do, and if they do it, the backlash will be severe.”

Tresa Undem, a pollster who specializes in surveys on gender issues, said that abortion rights would continue to be an effective cause for Democrats because voters link it to larger concerns about power and control that motivated female voters during the Trump administration.