I predicted previously that the overturning of Roe v. Wade would not affect the outcome of the upcoming midterm Congressional elections. I still stand by that prediction, now that the Supreme Court has handed down its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson. Nevertheless, folks on both sides of the aisle appear to believe that this development could increase Democrats’ chances of avoiding a total shellacking in November.
Now that Republicans have succeeded in overturning Roe, some have surmised that this could be a pyrrhic victory that comes back to haunt them later. Republican strategists told Politico that they are concerned that the court’s ruling might adversely impact the outcome of the upcoming congressional elections.
“This is not a conversation we want to have,” said John Thomas, one of the strategists. “We want to have a conversation about the economy. We want to have a conversation about Joe Biden, about pretty much anything else besides Roe … This is a losing issue for Republicans.”
A former GOP congressman noted that Republicans are winning on every other issue, but that abortion could become a problem. “The only thing [Democrats] have got going for them is the Roe thing, which is what, 40 years of settled law that will be changed that will cause some societal consternation,” he said. “And can they turn that into some turnout? I think the answer is probably ‘Yes.’”
“Maybe instead of losing 45 seats, they lose 30,” he continued, also predicting that “there will be a few seats that Republicans would have won without [the abortion rights decision], and they may not win them now.”
But the report also acknowledges that nobody in the political world “expects the court’s decision on abortion to upend the electoral landscape severely enough to keep Republicans from winning the House in November.”
“You go to any diner in America, and nobody’s talking about this,” said Dave Carney, a national Republican strategist. “That’s not what’s driving the conversation. Real people, working people, people who vote, are talking about the incompetence of the president, and then they go down the list of six or seven things.”
Nevertheless, Democrats are still hoping they can use the abortion issue to distract from the country’s economic woes. In another report, Politico pointed out that the court’s decision “could halt the GOP’s blue-state advance.”
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham told the outlet: “In New Mexico, I think this is going to be responded [to with] a clear call to action by women and men, by voters across that spectrum, who might have been — in the midterms — more lethargic.”
Others on the left speculate that because abortion is such a hot-button issue, the ruling could be more favorable to Democrats than it might seem.
“For a long time, many voters didn’t believe there was a threat to the status quo — legal access to abortion,” said Marshall Cohen, the political director of the Democratic Governor’s Association. “Even in bluer states where there are protections in state law, Republican candidates’ extremism is uniquely off-putting to a broad swath of voters, not just Democrats, but independents, and moderate Republicans as well.”
Democrats, for their part, escalated their rhetoric after the decision was handed down on Friday. When the court’s draft opinion was leaked in May, they began laying the groundwork for the campaign they would launch once the ruling was issued. Now, they are engaging in a full-court press to excoriate the overturning of Roe and using alarmist talking points to rile up their voting base.
Leftists are using fearmongering tactics like pretending conservatives are planning to reverse decisions regarding same-sex marriage and birth control. They have also suggested that Republicans might want to institute a nationwide ban on abortion – which seems to not be completely unfounded given that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said such legislation was “possible.”
However, what Democrats are not taking into consideration is the length of America’s attention span. Most everyday folks who may have wanted to preserve Roe aren’t quite as passionate about killing babies as they are about their wallets, children’s education, and safety from violent criminals amid skyrocketing crime rates. By the time November rolls around, voters will not be thinking about abortion. They will be reflecting on the dismal performance Democrats have given since taking office last year. No matter how much Democrats scream about abortion, they are in for a serious reckoning in five months.