Ohio vote shows abortion’s potency to reshape elections

By | August 9, 2023

The New York Times reports:

Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, a Republican, argued that Tuesday’s vote over how to amend the State Constitution was about protecting the state from a flood of special interest money. Secretary of State Frank LaRose, another Republican, urged voters to protect the “very foundational rules” of their constitution.

But Ohio voters clearly didn’t buy it. About three million of them showed up for a vote dominated by the debate over abortion rights — an issue that was not technically on the ballot, but was the undeniable force that transformed what would have normally been a little-noticed election over an arcane legislative proposal into a national event.

For decades, a majority of Americans supported some form of legalized abortion. But the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade has shifted the political intensity on the issue, reshaping a once mostly silent coalition of liberal, swing and moderate Republican voters into a political force. It’s a force Democrats are working hard to harness in elections across the country next year, often with ballot measures, and it’s a power Republicans have yet to figure out how to match, or at least manage. [Continue reading…]

CNN reports:

Americans’ discontent with the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade remains as potent as it was a year ago, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, with a record-high share of the public saying that they’re likely to take a candidate’s position on abortion into consideration when voting.

A 64% majority of US adults say they disapprove of last year’s Supreme Court ruling that women do not have a constitutional right to an abortion, with half strongly disapproving – an assessment that’s almost entirely unchanged from CNN’s poll last July in the immediate wake of the decision.

The new poll suggests that the issue’s importance as an electoral litmus test hasn’t diminished. In May 2022, immediately after the leaked draft of the Dobbs decisions, 26% of Americans said they would only vote for a candidate who shared their views on abortion. In the latest poll, that number stands at 29%. Another 55% say they’d consider a candidate’s position on abortion as one of many important factors, for a combined total of 84% who say they’re likely to pay attention to candidate’s position on abortion when voting. Just 16% say they don’t see abortion as a major issue, a record low in CNN polling dating back to 1996. [Continue reading…]

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