Democrats see SCOTUS leaked abortion ruling as chance to win culture wars

  • Republicans fueled election controversy over parental rights and COVID restrictions.
  • But now the Supreme Court is set to strike down abortion rights, changing the game for midterms.
  • Democrats say Republicans will now be on the defensive on an issue most Americans support.

Republicans planned to claim election victory this fall on a wave of parental fears and dissatisfaction with schools, teachers’ unions and COVID restrictions.

The Supreme Court was set over the summer to weigh in on one of the most polarizing issues of all, overturning abortion rights. But now that an authentic draft of the conservative majority opinion has leaked ahead of schedule, it has accelerated concerns and a decision to dump Roe vs. Wade could supersede all other culture wars when Americans head to the polls. in November. Democrats count on it.

“I think this overshadows many, if not all, of the other divisive issues that have been at the forefront of social debate in our midterm election season so far,” said Democratic strategist John LaBombard, from Rokk Solutions. “I expect this to be a moment of clarification for Democratic voters and independent voters. And it will not be a good time for Republican candidates who have to defend it.”

Democratic Party leaders plan to impress upon voters the importance of abortion rights, Deputy Democratic Leader Senator Patty Murray of Washington has said. Told reporters at the United States Capitol after the release of a Supreme Court draft opinion quashing Roe v. Wade.

“We’re going to make sure that anyone who hasn’t felt the weight of this moment yet, who doesn’t think it can happen, who doesn’t think it matters to them, gets the message loud and clear,” he said. she stated. “We’re going to make sure every person in every state understands this affects you, your choices, your rights.”

Democrats have struggled to mount an aggressive defense against Republican-fueled controversies over mask mandates, controversial books and teaching about race and gender in schools — culture war issues that have played out in chaotic school board meetings and helped Democrats lose the Virginia governor’s mansion last year. But they find themselves on safer footing in the face of abortion-rights challenges, especially as they are threatened by state courts and legislatures and now by the Supreme Court. Democrats are used to championing reproductive rights, and most Americans support keeping Roe v Wade.

“It is not popular to prohibit abortion or contraception”, tweeted Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut. “It’s not popular to bully gay kids. It’s not popular to ban books. It’s not popular to attack Disney. Democrats shouldn’t be afraid to call out Republicans for their extreme, hard right-hander. We can race on that and win.”

Senator Gary Peters of Michigan told reporters at the US Capitol that “reproductive freedom is a major issue that will be part of campaigns across the country.”

Asked about Roe’s impact on the electoral landscape, the Michigan lawmaker who leads the Senate Democrats’ national re-election campaign said it was “an issue where the American people are aligned with the Democrats.”

The issue could play a role in at least one upcoming Democratic primary — that of Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas, who opposes abortion rights and is the most conservative House Democrat. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was wanted on Tuesday support for Cuellar’s progressive opponentJessica Cisneros, on Twitter in light of Cuellar’s stance.

But for Democrats, the issue will get more attention in general election campaigns, given that most party members support abortion rights and are known to have taken that position. “It’s just baked in with the electorate,” said LaBombard, a former Democratic Sens aide. Jon Tester of Montana and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and former Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. “If you ask an ordinary voter which party supports upholding and maintaining a woman’s right to an abortion, it’s the Democrats.”

Gathering of an abortion rights activist around a woman, dressed as a doctor, holding up a sign that reads

Pro-choice protesters gather outside the Supreme Court following the announcement of Roe V. Wade’s nullification in Washington, DC, May 2, 2022.

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images


Democrats led by President Joe Biden are now pushing for abortion rights to be legislated, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling the issue “as urgent and real as possible”. Both chambers are expected to pass a bill codifying the right to abortion. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucus with Democrats, told reporters the Senate would have to end the filibuster, at least on this issue, to win the votes.

“I think the overwhelming majority of the American people understand that it would be a scandal to overturn Roe v. Wade and deny women a very basic right that they have had for 50 years,” Sanders said.

Leaders of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee warned voters in a rare five-fold joint statement.

“Republican attacks on access to abortion,


birth control

and women’s health care have significantly raised the stakes in the 2022 election,” the committee leaders said. “These elections will now determine whether cruel new restrictions on abortion will be put in place: whether states will be allowed to criminalize abortion and ban it. even in cases of rape or incest.”

LaBombard said Republicans will now have to explain why, after the Supreme Court ruling, they support the status quo, “which includes rather draconian state restrictions on abortion services,” he said.

Democratic voters, who have at times been “agitated and anxious to see how well the Democratic Party has achieved this Congress and in this administration,” will have even more clarity on what is at stake in the midterm elections, he said. declared.

“And I think you’ll see an increase in the share of independent voters in states and districts that really matter who gets a majority in both houses, acknowledging Republican candidates who are frankly outside the mainstream on this issue. “, did he declare.

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