So does Kevin Smith, the City Manager of Londonderry and former director of a Conservative advocacy organization, who has repeatedly attacked Hassan for opposing the state’s 24-week abortion ban. .
Several of the Republicans running against Kuster and Pappas expressed similar views on the Supreme Court’s decision or remained silent following its decision – a sign of complicated politics. Instead, New Hampshire Republicans quickly returned to hammering their Democratic rivals on inflation and rising fuel prices.
“We have common sense abortion laws here and that’s not the goal for the future,” New Hampshire GOP Chairman Steve Stepanek said in an interview. “The focus is how do you get this Biden inflation under control? And I think most people are concerned about their future, concerned about putting food on the table.
Democrats argue that reproductive rights fuel voter uncertainty just as much as the economy — and in an interview, Kuster made the connection between the two.
“I’m fine if [Republicans] miss the moment and misunderstand what is going on,” Kuster said. “Of course, people are concerned about cost reduction. But those same people know they probably can’t afford another child if they have two or three. And they want to control their future, their autonomy. They want to continue their education. They want to stay at work. … They don’t want the government to force them into a pregnancy they don’t intend to have.
Support for the right to abortion is up in New Hampshire and at an all-time high among voters nationwide. Yet some of these same polls, and many others, show that the economy is still top of mind for voters, with gas prices recently topping $5 a gallon on average in New England and prices for food and other goods increasing at the same time.
Those concerns, coupled with President Joe Biden’s approval numbers and U.S. inflation numbers moving in opposite directions, have given Republicans in New Hampshire and elsewhere plenty of fodder against their Democratic rivals.
“Regardless of the abortion issue, Democrats will always have lower voter turnout than Republicans because people are so frustrated with Joe Biden and the Democrats in Washington who are doing absolutely nothing to help our economy,” he said. Mike Dennehy, a New York Times veteran. Hampshire Republican strategist.
Democrats reject that charge. In conversations and press calls, Hassan, Pappas and Kuster were all quick to describe efforts to reduce gasoline prices and prescription drug costs. Hassan has been pushing for months to suspend the 18-cent-per-gallon federal gasoline tax — a call that hasn’t met with much enthusiasm in Washington, and which his Republican rivals have dismissed as a “trick of the election year”.
“I know there are a number of economic challenges that we face in New Hampshire,” Pappas said in an interview. “We’re working hard on gas prices, and lowering grocery prices and fighting inflation.”
As Democrats try to make abortion a major campaign issue, they must give equal weight to concerns about inflation and the cost of living.
“Obviously, wallet issues, that’s a priority for voters,” Kuster said. “But I wouldn’t particularly underestimate the decision of deer which is hitting so close to home and affecting people’s personal lives.