With an outright ban on abortion possible and Republican states driving right-wing social agendas, many moderate voters are questioning their party loyalty.
Donald Trump’s presidential legacy is the three justices he appointed to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. It gave the court a 6-3 conservative supermajority, which is attacking 50 years of women’s rights.
The Republican midterm campaign message against the Democrats was simple – target an unpopular President Biden, rising inflation, and the economy. However, a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion could ultimately affect the election outcome and on who bettors wager.
With an increasingly conservative Republican Party, we examine if women’s rights will dominate the 2022 midterm elections.
Roe V. Wade – The Challenge
In 1973, the US Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Nearly 50 years on, the Court is deliberating Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, questioning whether Mississippi’s state law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional.
The Trump-supporting state (57.6%) has asked the Court to ultimately overrule Roe and find there is no constitutional right to abortion.
Justice Samuel Alito – The Leak
If adopted, the lives of millions of women across the US would be impacted. The fear is that 24 Republican states would ban abortion immediately, and thirteen states have dormant anti-abortion trigger laws that would become enforceable automatically after the Supreme Court overturns the precedent.
Justice Samuel Alito wants to return the issue to elected representatives. Still, as 69% of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, campaigning on the issue for conservative Republicans in the 2022 midterm election could affect their odds of success.
The Republican Midterm Challenge
Before the leak from inside the conservative-led Supreme Court, the Republican approach to the 2022 midterm elections was to target Biden’s unpopularity – his performance on the economy – 8.5% and rising inflation – border controls and immigration.
It would represent the most damaging setback to the rights of women in the history of our country.
These subjects touch the everyday lives of Americans, but the focus for voters is changing.
Centrist Republican voters and unaffiliated moderate voters – especially women, might shift to the Democrats as fears over state-wide battles on abortion will reduce their freedoms and the right to control their own bodies.
Nancy Northup, President & CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights echoes those concerns: “If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade it will be an unjustified, unprecedented stripping away of a guaranteed right that has been in place for nearly five decades. It would represent the most damaging setback to the rights of women in the history of our country.”
The Swing States
The stakes are high for the November midterm elections. The Democrats control the US House and Senate by a narrow majority – so every seat counts. For hard-line Republican states like Idaho, where even Trump is viewed as centrist, any ruling to tighten abortion will have little effect on the election result. However, in swing states like Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Georgia, every advantage has to be taken to gain control of Washington.
In a state where the presidential battle was decided by fewer than 12,000, Georgia faces a competitive Senate race, a high-profile gubernatorial contest, and a fight to control the state legislature.
The Incumbent Governor Brian Kemp, a conservative Republican, has already signed a six-week abortion ban, but for primary challenger David Perdue, this does not go far enough – he is demanding a special session of the state legislature to outlaw abortion altogether.
The hard-line direction of the Republican Party in battleground states is going to be tested in the primary process and the tolerance of moderate voters who dislike Biden’s woke agenda but are concerned by stricter limits on abortion rights.
Throughout the pandemic, conservative Republican voters protested on the streets against simple mask-wearing mandates because it was decreed by Washington. Bettors must now ask if these same voters can accept the Supreme Court dictating to individual women a decision that affects their health, family and future.
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