WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday’s elections were a huge win for abortion rights. Political scientists said democrats secured wins in decisive victories in major races, despite the polls showing President Biden is trailing behind former President Donald Trump.
“I think the big takeaway from last night’s elections is that the democrats did well, really trumpeting the issue of abortion,” said Dr. Todd Belt, professor and director of political management at George Washington University.
Last summer the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. Democrats campaigned on abortion rights in the 2022 midterms, which seems to be an effective strategy after Tuesday’s elections.
In Virginia, voters flipped the republican majority House and kept democrats in control of the Senate, essentially blocking the republican governor from enacting a 15-week abortion ban. A top priority of his. In Ohio, a state where Trump won by eight points in 2020, voters approved of a ballot measure that enshrines the right to an abortion in the state constitution.
“Ohio use to be a swing state but it’s a deep red state now and like Kansas which put an abortion referendum to the voters, we saw people come out and support of abortion rights,” said Belt. “Abortion rights are popular across the country and this indicates that democrats were looking to use that as a turnout issue and putting more on the ballot for 2024 are likely to be successful.”
But can abortion access be a winning issue for democrats in 2024? Before Tuesday’s elections, polling shows Biden trailing behind Trump in key swing states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“Democrats do see this abortion issue as one they can continue to use to push their voters out,” said Belt. “When you have a right that is taken away people anticipate there might be more state level action to take away these rights and to shorten terms for abortions, this can be used by democrats to stimulate turnout.”
We are now less than a year away from the 2024 presidential election. Some are saying these victories for democrats won’t make Biden’s poll results irrelevant but Biden’s campaign is certainly feeling a little more optimistic from Tuesday’s results. Their campaign said in part: “Democracy won and MAGA lost. Voters vote. Polls don’t.”