Texas is the role model for red states transitioning from conservatism to fascism. But Texas' newest additions to the political landscape-- Jim Crow voter suppression and anti-Choice mania-- are not very popular with American voters. As a nation, we come down firmly on the side of democracy, even if most Republicans no longer do.
A new poll by YouGov for The Economist released this morning included a series of questions on abortion. Overall, 31% of registered voters feel that abortion should always be legal without any governmental restrictions. Another 29% think it should be legal with some restrictions (whether for late term abortions of for minors). Together that's 60%. Only 14% want to make all abortions illegal, which the Texas law essentially does and 28% say it should be illegal except for special circumstances, like rape, incest and/or the danger to the woman's life, none of which are part of the Texas law. Asked if they have heard about the new anti-Choice law in Texas, 54% of registered voters said a lot, 33% said a little and 12% said not at all. The came the approval/disapproval numbers for the new Texas law (again, among registered voters):
Strongly approve- 26% (23% among independents)
Somewhat approve- 12% (13% among independents)
Somewhat disapprove- 9% (13% among independents)
Strongly disapprove- 43% (37% among independents)
Not sure- 9% (14% among independents)
And asked if Roe v Wade should be overturned by the Supreme Court, 31% of registered voters said yes (including 56% of Republicans), 53% of voters said no (including 24% of Republicans). Just 29% of independents favor overturning Roe.
So, 38% approve and 52% disapprove. That kind of disparity in the numbers would frighten Democrats but will never hamper Republicans, who have plenty of tools to overcome the unpopularity of their positions and policy agenda-- from a fascist-oriented Supreme Court and gerrymandering to voter suppression tactics.
Asked how important abortion is as an issue, this was the partisan breakdown among those who say it is important:
Among all registered voters, asked to pick the single most important issue, these were the top half dozen:
Jobs & the economy- 14%
Climate change and the environment- 14%
National security- 9%
Taxes and government spending- 8%
And favorability/unfavorability of politicians:
Kevin McCarthy- 22/45%
Señor Trumpanzee- 42/54%
The Democratic Party- 39/56%
The Republican Party- 33/63%
So how is all that playing out in the real world? Well, yesterday a New Hampshire Democrat, Catherine Rombeau, narrowly flipped a state House seat in Bedford, Hillsborough County from red to blue. The previous Rep, Republican David Danielson, died in May. The traditionally Republican district gave Romney a thumping 23 point victory over Obama in 2012 and then Trump a 7 point win over Hillary. But 4 years of Trump was enough and Biden beat him by 3 points.
Former Rep. Linda Rea Camarota campaigned primarily against taxes, a solid Republican issue, but not quite good enough in the Trumpist era. She was supported by the Koch Brothers network, which sent makers on her behalf as did there radical right Gun Owners of America. The town's other Rep., Sue Mullen, a straight-up progressive, was elected last year, is immensely popular and campaigned actively for Rombeau.
And Trump is still causing havoc in the GOP, endorsing radical extremists in swing districts, like MI-06, based on his own sociopathic narcissism. Reporting for Yahoo News this morning, James Antle, wrote that as Señor Trumpanzee "rolled out his latest round of political endorsements, one thing was clear: It was time to settle some scores inside the Republican Party." He suggests that Trump is setting up a GOP circular firing squad. and the NRCC is fully embracing him-- rather than keeping him at arm's length. Trump will be headlining the big NRCC fundraiser in Tampa in November, their biggest shindig of the year, and likely to be another GOP COVID-19 super-spreader event.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published an essay for Holman Jenkins, Is Donald Trump Finished? He wrote that Democrats are lucky that Señor T "has no long game. He goes from contretemps to contretemps, playing tit for tat. Yet luck is working for him here too. America doesn’t feel noticeably less chaotic with him out of the picture. A cynic might also notice that, for all his bluster, Trump generally refrained from letting himself be pinned down on any specific allegation of voter fraud. It was always 'people tell me' or 'what I hear.' So Trump perhaps did not completely throw away the possibility of digging out from under his post-election behavior, with some typically brazen piece of Trump revisionism. My own estimate is that Trump can’t afford not to run for president between now and 2024-- it’s too lucrative. His business life now appears to consist largely of paying himself for services his companies provide to his own campaign, funded by thousands of small donations and sales of Trump merchandise. And yet a hunger for him to serve again as president, even among his fans, is not conspicuous. I also ask myself: Would he be selling his Washington hotel, one of the few ways he successfully synergized his business interests with this political interests during his presidency, if he planned on being president again? I doubt it. Trump has likely already decided he will be happy with just picking the next president, which explains the troop of hopefuls outside his door in Mar-a-Lago."