Post # 220, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
Will Republican Women favoring their abortion rights bolt to the Democrats or just stay home in any significant numbers?
By almost all accounts, the 2022 Mid Term Elections this November favor the Republicans taking back the House and probably the Senate. But the margin has been expected to be close, especially in the Senate.
Then there was a leak from the U.S. Supreme Court that Chief Justice Roberts said was accurate. It is fully expected that the Court will pass abortion legislation back to the states in that decision. Since most state houses and the Governorships are held by the Republicans, it is expected that only a small handful of states will still allow abortions, and even those will have tight conditions. The settled law of Roe v. Wade has been in place for 50 years, so it is difficult to under-describe the significant this new decision. Even President Trump made "repeal" the hallmark of his Administration and court selections. That is ironic because before being elected, Trump was an avowed freedom of choice advocate. But aside from the decision itself, here is what may be the biggest political story of the year:
President Biden and the Democrats have been hovering around the 40% favorability rating because, among other developments:
1. Inflation and interest rates from the pandemic and broken supply chains is the highest in 10 years, on the Democrat watch;
2. MAGA continues to disrupt Covid-19 masks and social distancing as freedom denial driving continuing infections, again on the Democrat watch;
3. Hardliners continue to demand the U.S. put boots on the ground to help Ukraine to fight Putin and the Russians, which Biden rejects;
4. Employment data is encouraging, but it is backfilling the millions of jobs lost during the pandemic, so Biden is blamed; and
5. All the stock market gains over the last 10 years have been lost to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the scare of expansion and unpredictability, further tarnishing Biden.
Although the public feels the major responsibility for these crises falls at the feet of Biden and the Democrats, some fault rests with the Republicans as they will not meet halfway to solve particularly the funding problems. The country remains almost evenly divided.
Now comes this Supreme Court abortion decision. These are the current public opinion numbers from Pew Research on abortion:
Now ask the question of Republicans. In 2018 NBC/The Wall Street Journal found:
The more important number is the level of commitment factor, especially among women. Data has shown that women will vote intensely when the issue is about abortion. These figures are my predictions, because the polling has not been done yet on these questions:
Women consider abortion and control of their bodies very personal and private, so I predict they will turnout to vote in greater numbers. I predict
A turnout increase of 10% for all women.
A turnout increase of Democrat women of 20%.
A turnout increase of Democrat minority women of 30%.
A turnout increase of Republican Women of 10%.
But abortion could shift up to 5% of Republican Women to vote Democrat or not vote.
I predict if 2 of the 5 Democrat negatives above break the other way, plus the increased turnout of the abortion vote, this mid-term election could be a toss up.
This issue has shaken Washington's political foundations to their core.