It’s going to be incredibly hard for Democrats to protect abortion rights

A new CBS poll found that 50 per cent of Democratic voters said that the decision makes them more likely to vote in the midterms

<p>Supreme Court Abortion Public Opinion</p>

Supreme Court Abortion Public Opinion

President Joe Biden encapsulated what he hoped Democratic voters would understand after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade: “This fall, Roe is on the ballot.”

There is some evidence that this message is sticking. A new CBS News/YouGov poll found that 50 per cent of Democratic voters said that the decision makes them more likely to vote compared to 77 per cent of Republicans who say it will have no effect on their likeliness to vote, though that might be due to the fact Republicans are already motivated to vote this midterm election to win back the House and Senate. The bad news for Democrats and good news for Republicans is that 61 per cent of independents say that it will have no effect on how likely they are to vote. But a majority of voters – 64 per cent altogether – say they want to keep abortion legal in either all or most cases and 51 per cent say the court’s decision will make life worse.

FiveThirtyEight shows that the generic ballot, which measures whether voters would support a generic Democrat or Republican to represent them in Congress, shows Republicans have a slight advantage.

But even if Democrats manage to hold onto their House majority, which is increasingly unlikely, Democrats’ real challenge to protect abortion rights comes in the Senate. Last month, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia – who opposes abortion rights – voted against the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have codified Roe v Wade. His and Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition to changing the filibuster also means Democrats need to gain two more seats to even have a shot at passing legislation to protect abortion rights. Republicans only need to gain one seat to win the majority. Here are the states most likely to flip, the least likely to flip and the reach states.

Republican opportunities: Georgia, Nevada and Arizona are the states most likely to flip from Democratic to Republican. Senator Mark Kelly faces a full slate of candidates running against him and former president Donald Trump endorsed venture capitalist Blake Masters in the primary. Meanwhile, former University of Georgia running back Herschel Walker is running against Senator Raphael Warnock in a nail-biter and polls show they are in a dead heat. Upon the decision, Adam Laxalt, who is running against Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, said that “the people Nevada have voted to make abortion rights legal in our state and the Court’s decision on Roe doesn’t change settled law.” As Democratic election modeler Lakshya Jain said, “if the race turns into a referendum on it, he loses in a landslide.”

The potential Democratic pickups: Democrats’ best chance to flip a seat is in Pennsylvania where Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman leads Dr Mehmet Oz by six points. In North Carolina, Civitas, a conservative group, showed Republican Representative Ted Budd in the lead by five points but a WRAL poll showed former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley with a four-point lead. Wisconsin poses the toughest challenge for Democrats because unlike the other two states where they are running for open seats, Senator Ron Johnson is seeking a third term. A Marquette University Law School poll–one of the more accurate polls in the Badger state–shows Mr Johnson in tight races against all of his potential Democratic challengers.

Reach states: In every election, at least one candidate pulls off a stunner. The Dobbs decision makes Republican chances to beat Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire all the harder, since the state overwhelmingly supports abortion rights and the fact that Republican Governor Chris Sununu passed on running. In Ohio, Republican JD Vance and Representative Tim Ryan are running neck and neck, but it’s still likely favored to the GOP given the state’s rightward tilt. Lastly, in Missouri, former Governor Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace after allegedly sexually blackmailing a woman and whose ex-wife accuses him of abusing her and their children, is running in a crowded primary for Senate. If he wins the primary, it could make the seat at least possible for Democrats.

Out of the question: Despite the fact Representative Val Demings, a Democrat running against Senator Marco Rubio in Florida, told your dispatcher “I’m mad as hell and every woman and man who supports women should be mad as hell” and hit Mr Rubio on his record on abortion, the state is still largely Republican. Conversely, the decision likely means Republicans will be unable to beat Senators Michael Bennet of Colorado or Patty Murray of Washington given the support for abortion rights in the state.

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