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How Much Will The GOP Ending Roe v Wade Impact The Midterms?

If the Supreme Court actually goes ahead and shitcans Roe v Wade, how will that play out in the midterms? A poll already showed the the decision motivates Democrats more than Republicans and other polls show that a strong majority of voters does not want to see Roe overturned by a far right Supreme Court with 3 unqualified Trump appointees.

Yesterday Nate Cohn looked at the states where the decision is likely to have the biggest impact-- at least on statewide races-- not necessarily on individual House and legislative districts. Keep in mind that 13 states already have trigger laws that will criminalize abortion as soon as the Court throws out Roe-- Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and, of course, both Dakotas. There's little doubt that Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Indiana and West Virginia will quickly follow.

Here's the bad news: According to Cohn, "In the 13 states that have enacted so-called trigger laws which would immediately or very quickly outlaw abortion if Roe were overturned, 43 percent of adults on average say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 52 percent say it should be illegal in most or all cases."

Statewide, those states are mostly lost to Democrats anyway. But Cohn points out that "Voters are more divided in the dozen or so states that have pre-Roe bans on the books or that are expected to enact new abortion restrictions if Roe is overturned. In those states-- where the fight over abortion is most likely to play out in campaigns or state legislative chambers-- an average of 49 percent of adults say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared with 45 percent who say otherwise. That is still somewhat less than the national average of 54 percent who mostly or fully support legalized abortion, compared with 41 percent who mostly or fully oppose it."

The geographic pattern evident in the results suggests that a national outcry over a court decision to overturn Roe might not carry many political consequences in the states where abortions could be immediately restricted. In some of those states, new abortion restrictions may tend to reinforce the political status quo, even as they spark outrage elsewhere in the country.
But in some states, a fight over new abortion restrictions might pose serious political risks for conservatives, perhaps especially in the seven mostly Republican-controlled states that are seen as most likely to enact new restrictions even though a majority of voters tend to support legal abortion.
The public’s views on abortion are notoriously hard to measure, with large segments of the public often seeming to offer muddled or inconsistent answers. Polls consistently show that around two-thirds of Americans support the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and oppose overturning it. Yet just as many Americans say they support banning abortion in the second trimester, a step barred by Roe. And a more modest majority-- usually around 55 percent in broader sets of data-- supports legal abortion in most or all cases, while people split almost evenly over whether they consider themselves “pro-choice” or “pro-life.”
...In Texas, which has put into action the most stringent abortion restrictions so far, there are few signs of a fundamental transformation of the state’s politics.
Texans roughly split on abortion overall, making abortion rights more popular there than in the typical state with a trigger law. But abortion was almost a nonissue in the state’s primary in March, with candidates staying focused on the pandemic and immigration. Only 39 percent of Texans said the state’s abortion laws should be “less strict” in a poll in February, several months after the passage of the law, which effectively bans abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion-rights advocates might be on more favorable political terrain in the more traditionally competitive Midwestern states. A modest majority of voters say abortion should be mostly legal in states like Ohio, Michigan and Iowa, where evangelical Christians represent a far smaller share of voters than in the South. The figures are similar in other battleground states, like Arizona and Florida.
It’s unclear if the abortion issue will be enough to redraw the political map. Perhaps it will fade, as it seems to have in Texas. But the stakes are not small for Republicans in this region: The predominantly white working-class voters who swung from Barack Obama to Trump in the 2016 presidential election tended to back abortion rights.
In a postelection study, 58 percent of voters who flipped from Obama to Trump in 2016 said that they would support a law that would “always allow a woman to obtain an abortion as a matter of choice.”

Aside from Texas, there are 3 states with Republican-passed trigger laws that are pretty evenly split-- Wyoming, Oklahoma and Missouri. The front-runner in the open race for Missouri's Senate seat is populist Democrat Lucas Kunce. Yesterday when I asked him how the SCOTUS decision might impact his race, he declined to comment on the leaked draft but e-mailed me "Nuke the filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade immediately. That's where I stand. Too many Democrats across this country are choosing the filibuster over a women's right to an abortion. It's criminal. We're supposed to be living in a free country, one that millions of Americans have died defending. This isn't freedom. This is Big Brother."

Among states where the pro-choice segment is significantly bigger than the anti-choice segment but where the government is largely controlled by Republicans, Democrats are going tp have some interesting opportunities-- if they swing for the fences.

Here are a dozen swing states with double digit disparities in favor of Roe. Their legislatures may want to outlaw abortions but that could prove politically suicidal.

  • Ohio +10

  • Montana +10

  • Virginia +11

  • Wisconsin +13

  • Pennsylvania +13

  • Arizona +13

  • Minnesota +14

  • Michigan +16

  • Florida +18

  • Alaska +25

  • Maine +28

  • Nevada +32

Iowa also has a pro-Choice majority (+7) with a government completely controlled by the GOP. Glenn Hurst is the progressive candidate running for the Democratic nomination to take on Chuck Grassley. "Unequivocal support of a woman’s right to abortion," he told me, "should be a given for a progressive candidate in Iowa where the majority of the population supports this position. The antiquated filibuster must be ended if needed to achieve this goal and to assure women full equality. With the predicted overthrowing of Roe, a new 3/5th compromise looms, this time making women less than full citizens. The race in Iowa just took a sharp turn as the need to support a true progressive is the only way to achieve the elimination of the filibuster. My opponent, Mike Franken, has spoken against its elimination in order to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. There is no reason to believe he has changed his support for this antiquated tool. Any position that makes women second-class citizens is unacceptable."

Lourin Hubbard won his primary and is taking on right-wing Republican Connie Conway in a special election for the remainder of Devin Nunes' term. This could be the first election to test the SCOTUS leak. Last night Hubbard told me he hopes this does spur those people who contemplated sitting out this election to get off the sideline and vote! "People need to understand that voting has consequences. 5 of the 6 conservative Justices on the Supreme Court were appointed by Presidents that did not win the popular vote, and aren’t even accountable to the American people. This is about more than just blocking abortion, a right that has existed in the US for nearly 50 years, It’s about stripping rights away from people and exercising power. The GOP messaging is contradictory; the say they care about human life but instead of working to end the death penalty, they are actually working to expand it. They should be working to limit gun violence; instead they are fighting to give guns to domestic abusers and the mentaly ill. The GOP has proven to be fully committed to this crusade of making the government the sole decision maker in women’s healthcare choices. They do not care about freedom or about life as they have don’t have a single proposal to address pay equity, or ensure every woman has health insurance, nor dp they want to improve access to mental healthcare for the increased number of women who will need post-partum care. They have no plan to strengthen our education system with universal or even subsidized childcare to support working families and while my Republican opponent may rejoice at this ruling I know that black mothers in my area, who already have a maternal mortality rate 4x higher than white mothers, will continue to suffer without any support. We have to vote and now we know what they consequences are. We know that, yes, democracy is on the ballot but our very rights are also."

Ruth Luevanos is also a progressive candidate in a battle against right-wing Republican, Mike Garcia in northern L.A. County. "The imminent decision by SCOTUS to overturn Roe v Wade has activated many women across the country worried about limited access to reproductive healthcare. However, women of color will be most impacted by this decision and we have needed people to support progressive women of color who have been in the trenches fighting the good fight for the most underserved communities in this country. I hope this activates voters to realize that moderate Democrats have not and will not protect reproductive rights and that is why voters need to vote for actual progressives in June. As the only woman of color running in CD-27 I am most aware of the impact of the Roe decision."

Please consider contributing to Ruth's, Lourin's and Steven Holden's campaigns by clicking here and to the Senate candidates, Lucas Kunce, Glenn Hubbard and Alan Grayson-- who reasoned that "Given the fact that Florida is 56% pro-choice and 39% anti-choice, and Rubio has said that abortion is murder, I think that if we make the election about that, then he will lose-- by clicking here.

Steven Holden is the Democratic candidate taking on right-wing GOP incumbent Chris Jacobs in a northern New York district still to be fully defined by the court. "None of the GOP members of the NY delegation support Roe, and this includes Chris Jacobs," he reiterated. "Chris Jacobs, who is a former Democrat who flipped to the GOP after he saw an opportunity to go to Congress, is on record as opposing women’s health initiatives in his hurry to show his fealty to Donald Trump. His primary opponent, Mario Fratto, is even more extreme than him. As proof of this, the Buffalo/Western NY Planned Parenthood is woefully underfunded and part of that is due to his not fighting for Federal monies going there. In the past 48 hours, I have heard from six Republican women who voted for Donald Trump here in the district who stated that they no longer can support Jacobs and his pals. Many of these women did not even know what the Trump/MAGA/GOP line was on the topic. We are going to make our support of Roe and women’s health a centerpiece of our campaign, even in a Republican-leaning district. However, this will not be the end. Jacobs and his friends in the GOP and SCOTUS are saying the quiet part out loud. Unless we codify these previous Supreme Court decisions, they are going after LGBTQIA+ rights to include marriage, contraception, interracial marriage, immigration, and transgender rights. Here in NY, we are putting abortion rights in the State Constitution, but we need to protect it everywhere. Jacobs also does not want judicial reform, but I have called for such reform because without it, the right will challenge the law all of the way to the Supreme Court."

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