Democrats take hold of abortion issue – Chicago Sun-Times

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe’s decision and abolished the national right to abortion, President Joe Biden quickly seized on the political opening. “This fall, Roe is on the ballot,” he insisted. “Voters need to raise their voices.”

Every poll agrees that Democrats have a winning point. USA Today found that 61% of voters opposed the reversal of the row, with only 28% supporting the court. According to Gallup, 55% describe themselves as “pro-choice,” while 39% identify as “pro-life.”

But here’s the nonsense: Biden’s message may be popular, but the messenger is not. In the national polls average, Biden has dipped to a favorable rating of 39.6%. It is more than 2 points below Donald Trump and almost 7 points below Barack Obama in the same phase of his presidency.

More seriously, with inflation spiraling out of control, and the tremors of the pandemic still raging through people’s lives, 7 out of 10 Americans say the country is going down the “wrong path”, with only 22% Believe we’re headed in the “right direction.” When Biden told the Associated Press that the country is “really, really down,” he was probably understating the pessimism.

So here’s the question: Can the president and Democrats change the topic from the price of gas to women’s rights? Can they convince voters – this fall and in 2024 – to bury their frustration with the current administration and focus on their fears of the last one?

The Democratic game plan is already clear: Use the abortion issue to remind swing voters why they left Trump. That’s why Party Talking Points use words like “extremism” and “dangerous” as often as possible. And why they are uncovering the most bizarre Republican proposals for what happens next – Mike Pence wanting to ban all abortions nationwide, or Justice Clarence Thomas threatening to stop contraception and same-sex marriage.

“This is madness,” came a typical statement from Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee for Ohio’s open Senate seat. “This level of extremism is not going to work in Ohio.”

“I hope you all know it doesn’t end, that the dangers don’t stop here,” warned Cheri Beasley, who is running for Senate in North Carolina.

Contributions from Democratic candidates and abortion-rights groups have grown rapidly, and Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt told NBC, “How[abortion]plays out in November remains to be determined, but for now, it’s some much-needed excitement.” is injecting into some parts of the Democratic Coalition.”

for now.

But two major obstacles stand in the way of the Democrats, beyond the historical trend that a presidential party almost always loses congressional seats in off-year elections. The first is that Democrats have been far less successful than Republicans in using the Supreme Court as an issue to tighten the stakes in the election and energize the party’s base.

Look at 2016. Four out of five evangelical Christians supported Trump, even though he was married three times, never attended church, and continued to boast about his sexual escapades. A major reason was that he made a promise—a promise he kept—to pack the federal courts with judges who would reverse Roe’s decision. Conversely, many liberals abandoned the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, because she was not pure enough on her issues, regardless of who she appoints to court.

Conservatives embrace Trump, despite his flaws, because they understood that elections have consequences. Many liberals, failing to understand that basic tenet of politics, dismissed Clinton because of her flaws. As a result, they bear some of the blame for Roe’s demise.

Those liberals are prepared to learn from their grave errors rather than repeat them. A Washington Post headline states, “Disappointment, growing anger among Democrats over caution on abortion,” and the story quotes leftists like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Condemned for the trial, including his failure to back the plans. That would rebalance the court with additional judges or eliminate filibuster and pass legislation enshrining abortion rights in federal law.

The national mood is an even bigger obstacle. Many people may be passionate about the issue of abortion on both sides, but it remains an abstraction. Inflation affects every family every day. That’s why in an NBC poll only 33% approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, and 65% said his family’s income was falling behind the cost of living.

Abortion looks like a powerful weapon for Biden and Democrats. But is it enough to impress voters feeling “really, really down”? Maybe not.

Steven Roberts teaches politics and journalism at George Washington University.

The Sun-Times welcomes letters to the editor and op-eds.see our guidelines,

Leave a Comment