Democratic, Republican strategists weigh implication of Supreme Court abortion ruling on midterm elections
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The Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark decision that granted federal protections for abortion, sent a shockwave through America and raised the question of how the move from conservative justices on the court will impact the upcoming midterm elections.
The ruling came in the court’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which centered on a Mississippi law that banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The Republican-led state of Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to strike down a lower court ruling that stopped the 15-week abortion ban from taking place.
To better understand how the ruling will impact the elections, or whether it will at all, Fox News Digital contacted political experts from both sides of the aisle to get their assessment.
Jessica Tarlov, Democratic strategist & co-host of Fox News’ “The Five”:
“This won’t overtake the importance of inflation and the economy more broadly on the midterms, but protecting the right to choose and ensuring Democrats get to pick Supreme Court Justices will be on voters’ minds. It will also turn off some moderates who shifted left to support Biden and now see just how extreme Republicans are.”
James Carville, Democratic strategist:
“If the needle is not moved by the end of July, it’s just not gonna move.”
“Obviously the abortion case is kinda the headline here, but there’s just a lot of other stuff that’s going on. And Trump may announce in July. … I think you gotta take everything together. Political actions have become so hardened that if this doesn’t move ‘em, nothing will. … These certainly seem to be the kind of events that have the potential to change the underlying generic, but if it does, I don’t know. But if this doesn’t change it, I don’t think there’s much that’s gonna change it.”
Star Parker, founder of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE):
“Huge implications in that most Americans are concerned about direction country has been going, and federal court takeover of state issues is big part of this discussion on abortion. Every political candidate will be asked about their specific positions on abortion and the left is side with back against the wall because they have been extreme regarding not just gestation stage but their insistence to push abortion on poor people of color, especially blacks.”
“Yes, elections have consequences and heartland America has awakened in this woke culture and will fight back, but in the voting booth in November not in the streets like the mobs tonight.”
Mo Elleithee, Democratic campaign strategist, Fox News contributor, and former spokesman for the Democratic National Committee:
“This has dramatically changed the conversation. The issue has been a part of our political debate for decades, but as a hypothetical. Now it’s real. This isn’t about putting some restrictions on abortion. This ends it entirely in many states, regardless of the situation. And as millions of women come to terms with the fact that a fundamental freedom has been stripped away from them — a freedom that has incredibly broad political support across the ideological spectrum – it changes the political conversation. And if I’m a Republican running for the Senate in Georgia or Arizona or Pennsylvania or Ohio, I’d be sweating.”
“This is not a popular decision. Taking away personal freedoms is not a conservative position. And women don’t appreciate losing agency over their own bodies. Republican Senators and candidates are going to find themselves in a very, very tough spot.”
Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary under George W. Bush and Fox News contributor:
“Given how closely divided the American people are over abortion, I don’t see this ruling leading to any meaningful change to election outcomes in November, especially in battleground districts. It might provide a small turnout bump to otherwise unengaged, disenchanted Democrats, but inflation, the wrong direction of the country and President Biden’s unpopularity remain the biggest driver of events this November.”
Hank Sheinkopf, Democratic campaign strategist:
“In Democrat majority states the ruling will increase voter turn-outs. In Republican majority states the Republicans will still dominate. It is in the described purple states that the Roe decision might be the deciding factor. Voters tend to make decisions on emotional matters. Is abortion as emotionally charged as inflation, increased food costs, 6 bucks a gallon of gas, and a general sense that things are out of control? You won’t know until November. And if the demonstrations over this decision become violent, the reaction won’t help the Democrats.”
Leslie Marshall, Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor:
“I would hope that this would put a match under the butts of my fellow Democrats, or even Republicans and Independents, who are angry with Republicans and appointments. In 2016, there were those of us warning if Donald Trump were elected, or the Republican if it weren’t Donald Trump, the Supreme Court — when you just looked at the composite of the court, the ages of people when it came to retirement, when it came to longevity — that there were two or three seats that were possibly gonna be up for grabs.”
“I don’t care if there’s hundreds of thousands of you, or millions, I don’t care how much you march, who covers it, how many people come, how beautiful it is… unless you vote it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.”
“November is close, but it’s a lifetime away depending on who you are. … I’m hoping this will bring out more women than ever, I’m hoping this will bring out more Democrats. Will we see higher numbers of Democrats voting in the midterms than usual? Yes. Will we see record numbers? I fear not, and I hope I’m wrong, I want to be wrong on this, but I fear I am right.”
The comments provided to Fox News Digital in this article are part of a new weekend series where strategists from across the political spectrum are asked the same questions related to political hot topics and are provided with an opportunity to offer their perspective.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Kelly Laco contributed to this article