December 7, 2023

In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly hit the waves this week an advertisement criticizing Blake Masters, who won Tuesday’s Republican primary, for his “dangerous ideas on abortion.” Similarly, Senate Majority PAC, a group with ties to Senate Democratic leadership, began broadcasting an advertisement highlighting Masters’ “extreme” views on abortion.
In Michigan, he started a group aligned with the Democratic Governors Association an advertisement against Tudor Dixon shortly after she won the Republican nomination for governor on Tuesday, with a video of her saying she does not support exceptions to abortion bans in cases of rape or incest.

That Democrats are choosing to kick off their general election campaigns in key states with paid messages focused entirely on abortion shows the party sees the issue as the best hand to play in an otherwise largely unfavorable.

Democrats were already confident the issue would become more important — and work in their favor — in the November election after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in June.
But they got even bolder this week. Voters in the red state of Kansas rejected a ballot measure that would have stripped abortion protections from the state constitution by 18 points. The margin and level of turnout surprised members of both parties. As CNN’s Harry Eden noted, more than 900,000 votes were counted for the amendment, compared to fewer than 750,000 for the state primary. Overall, turnout was up nearly 60 percent for the Kansas primary this year compared to 2018.
While all of this is promising for Democrats, their challenge going forward will be channeling the energy of abortion rights advocates for elections, like those in Arizona or Michigan, that aren’t straight up or down votes. down to the point. (Although specifically, there will likely be a measure on the November ballot in Michigan to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.)
Polls have shown that clear majorities oppose Roe v. Wade and that abortion is getting up audience priority list. But the point is still there it was not overcome the economy and inflation as the main concern, and Democrats are still battling headwinds presented by President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings.

The point: At the very least, the abortion issue may help Democrats maximize turnout in their base this fall. To avoid the midterm blowouts the president’s party has faced in recent cycles, Democrats will need it to become a stronger engine for swing voters as well.

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