Does the Roe decision have a good political side for the Democrats?

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1) More than 3 in 4 Democrats (78%) said the court ruling made them more likely to vote in the fall. A slim majority of Republicans (54%) said the same.

2) Democrats are now leading on the generic polling question (“If the election were held today, would you vote for Democrat or Republican for the House”) 48% to 41% over Republicans, a remarkable 10-point swing since an NPR poll in April.

And just in case you think those numbers are outliers, a new CBS/YouGov Poll conducted following the Roe decision showed that 6 in 10 Americans – and 67% of women – disapproved of the court’s decision.

While these numbers may be cold comfort to many who see states — especially in the South — already moving to ban abortion, they suggest the court may have unwittingly shifted the debate mid- journey.

The hard and fast political rule is for the current president’s party to lose House seats in its first midterm election. And, when that president is, like Joe Biden, below 50% approval, his party tends to lose big. (The average loss of seats for a president’s party when that president is below 50% is 37 seats in the House according to a 2018 Gallup analysis.)
Given that independent political handicappers, such as the Cook Political Report with Amy Walterestimated that Republicans were headed for a gain of 25 to 35 House seats – more than enough for the party to regain a majority.

What is clear is that, for now, the decision has woken up the Democratic base to the stakes of the midterm elections. And that goes double for women.

Which is a significant development. In 2018 — when Democrats won 41 seats and regained a majority in the House — women made up more than half of the electorate (52%) and Democrats won them by 19 points. Four years earlier, when Republicans won 13 seats, The Democrats won the women by just 4 points.

The conclusion here is obvious: for the Democrats to have a chance, they need a significant margin among women – especially suburban women – because so many other swing groups, including independents, have a strong bias against them.

What’s much less clear is whether that anger and outrage can a) hold out through November and b) outweigh economic issues like inflation and gas prices when it does. is about what swing voters really care about.

Democrats in some districts and states are already on the air with TV ads hoping to capitalize on the furor over the court ruling. Watch the airwaves in the coming months to see if this continues. If so, there are grounds for concluding that the problem is displacing voters.

Point: This election still looks good for Republicans. The question now is whether the Roe decision can limit Democratic losses.


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