NC-01: Pro-Choice Progressive Erica Smith vs Anti-Choice Reactionary Don Davis (May 17)
Late Breaking News: The Congressional Progressive Caucus Endorsed Erica Smith This Evening
Earlier today we saw Jessica Cisneros ask House Democratic leaders to withdraw their endorsements of the last anti-Choice fanatic in the House, Henry Cisneros (Blue Dog-TX). I was happy to see a similar request today-- in the form of a press release-- from Erica Smith. Smith is running for an open seat in North Carolina and her opponent, state Sen. Don Davis, is even worse than Cuellar!
The Erica Smith campaign is officially calling on Congressman G.K. Butterfield, the Congressional Black Caucus, AFL-CIO, CWA, and other organizations that have backed senator Don Davis to rescind their endorsements. "Reproductive healthcare is on the ballot and Don Davis' record proves that he cannot be trusted to meet this moment. You either support reproductive freedom or you support Don Davis. We hope that these individuals and groups will reconsider and come down on the right side of history. Electing Don Davis would be doubling the number of Democrats in the US House who do not support a woman's right to choose. This moment calls for a reproductive healthcare champion, not someone who will stand with Justices Alito and Kavanaugh in criminalizing abortion."
The Facebook ad up top is running in the largely rural North Carolina district where Erica Smith and Don Davis are facing off. Blue America is supporting Smith and you can contribute to her campaign here or, if you'd prefer, here.
Senator Don Davis, has voted to defund planned parenthood, restrict access to abortion/criminalize doctors providing abortion services, in favor of funding for anti-choice organizations, and skipped key votes on women's healthcare.
In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood and his support of the Born Alive bill, he was the only Democrat to support the 2018 Budget which allocated $250,000 to Mountain Area Pregnancy Services, a group that teaches abstinence-only sex education and advocates for an end to abortion, $300,000 to the Human Coalition, a group that opposes “the abortion industry” and $1,000,000 for Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, “a pro-life group."
In 2013, Don Davis chose to abstain from voting on the “MotorcycleVagina” bill, which added restrictive abortion regulations to an unrelated motorcycle safety bill. 'It’s about politics. It’s not about women’s health. It’s not about safety,’ said Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford. ‘This is an anti-woman bill in disguise, a wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ said Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson.” (WRAL, 7/11/13). Davis abstained from voting on this bill while every other Senate Democrat voted “no” or had an excused absence.
As you can see in the Blue America Facebook/Instgram ad up top, Republican money is flooding into the Democratic primary on behalf of Davis, falsely portraying him as a champion of women's rights, counting on swaying voters who are ignorant of the facts.
This morning Bloomberg reporter Gregory Korte wrote that supporters of thepro-Choice position are more galvanized than the anti-choice set-- galvanized by the prospect of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, according to a new poll by Morning Consult. Korte speculates that the leaked draft opinion may shape the midterm elections. I hope that we can help get the message out about the May 17 North Carolina primary as well. If Davis wins, there will be no pro-Choice candidate in the general election, just two hard anti-Choice conservatives, one with an "R" next to his name and one with a "D."
This was the first poll to measure the reaction to teh leaked SCOTUS opinion signaling that they plan to strike down Roe v Wade. Korte wrote that "It found that half of U.S. voters support the abortion rights guaranteed by Roe and don’t want the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling."
About 42% of voters who lean Democratic-- and 45% of Democratic women-- said it’s more important to vote for a candidate who agrees with their stance on abortion, even if they disagree on other issues. That number has increased by five points since last December.
Only 31% of Republican voters said abortion was more important in the midterm elections for Congress and other offices.
That trend reverses more than a decade of polling that showed Republicans have been more motivated by the abortion issue. Last year, Gallup found that 30% of self-described “pro-life” voters said they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on abortion, compared to 19% of those who support abortion rights.
Both parties are seeking to motivate their base voters ahead of the midterms with control of the narrowly divided House and Senate up for grabs.
It’s unclear how much opinions have calcified as a result of the leaked opinion. Though 59% said they heard of the draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, only 26% said they thought it was “very likely” that the court would overturn Roe in the poll conducted the day after the draft was published. Last December, 12% said it was very likely the court would overturn Roe.