Senate Democrats’ Midterm Bet: Voters Will Care More About Abortion than Inflation  

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at a news conference on the U.S. Senate’s upcoming procedural vote to codify Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Capitol Building on May 05, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Democrats are betting the midterm election on the issue of abortion instead of focusing on reducing inflation, the most important issue to voters.

Despite CNN polling that shows President Joe Biden’s struggling economy as the number one concern for Americans, Democrats are steering their communications effort towards abortion following the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court.

The Democrats’ hyper attention to the abortion issue reveals a midterm strategy of how they plan to protect their Senate majority. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is spearheading the Democrats’ newest tactic.

“Senate Republicans will no longer be able to hide from the horror they’ve unleashed upon women in America,” Schumer said Monday. “After spending years packing our courts with right-wing judges … the time has come for Republicans — this new MAGA Republican Party — to answer for their actions.”

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) has claimed abortion is popular in many swing states where Republicans are eyeing wins in November. “There’s certain states that have even stronger support for Roe v. Wade,” Peters said about New Hampshire, Nevada, and Arizona. “And there’s a very clear contrast between where our candidates are … in those states and the Republican candidates, [who] have taken, for the most part, very extreme views.”

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who is up for reelection this November, said she will focus on abortion to win the midterms, even though Biden’s forty-year high inflation “is a major irritant.” According to an ABC News poll, “Half of Americans are concerned about it; an additional 44%, not only concerned but upset about it.”

Regardless of polling, Hassan is still talking up the Supreme Court’s leaked opinion on abortion. “There has been outrage over that, along with extremists in Concord defunding Planned Parenthood, and people are very, very concerned,” Hassan told the Washington Post. “And so I will continue to point out to voters that three of my opponents running on the Republican side have already endorsed the Alito draft decision, and that’s of great concern to people in New Hampshire.”

Not everyone is interested in the abortion issue, as Hassan suggests. In the swing state of Arizona, where Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) is hoping to win reelection, inflation is a far greater worry than abortion. Reuters spoke with 21 women about whether they were more concerned about inflation than abortion.

“Most of the women said inflation, not abortion, was the galvanizing issue for them,” Reuters reported. “Five said they were pro-life and Republican, while 16 said they were pro-choice. Just two of the 16 said the issue was the top priority for them when voting this November.”

“It’s the economy and jobs,” Laura Wilson told the publication about the precedence the economy takes over abortion.

Polling supports Reuter’s report. The economy tops Americans’ greatest worry, according to a CNN poll. Only two percent of Americans said Biden’s economy is “very good.” Seventy-seven percent conveyed Biden’s economy is poor, the highest mark in a decade.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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