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The dominant narrative for months has been that Democrats face an uphill battle to maintain control of the House and Senate in 2022, citing record inflation, President Biden’s underwater approval rating and historic headwinds. against the party of an incumbent president in most midterms.
But that changed this week as the leaked draft of a majority opinion that would overturn Supreme Court Roe v. Wade fueled hopes among Democrats that they could rouse a reluctant base, with numerous headlines and TV segments pushing that line as well.
“Disclosure of a draft majority opinion indicating that the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade instantly shook Democrats out of a fit of political unease on Monday night – and many are hoping it could change the course of the midterm elections,” reported Politico, the same outlet that reported on the explosive leak of the draft. opinion of the Supreme Court.
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“The draft advisory threatens to upend the midterm elections in unpredictable ways,” The Washington Post reported, citing several lawmakers and Democratic aides pushing the line. “Some Democrats supported the reversal deer would energize the party’s voter base as well as some independent voters who so far have been less enthusiastic than Republicans about going to the polls this year.”
A former Republican Senate aide, however, threw cold water on that notion, telling the Post that it was hard to believe it would still be galvanizing months from now and that it would supersede voters’ economic concerns.
“Supreme Court may just fundamentally change 2022 election,” read a CNN headline from political writer Chris Cillizza on Tuesday.
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“The Supreme Court’s draft opinion that would strike down abortion rights is a massive story with myriad implications for the American public. It may also be exactly what Democrats need to resolve their passion issue ahead of the 2022 midterm elections,” Cillizza wrote, citing some polls showing a third of voters would be ‘angry’ at the court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“There are very few issues that can pretend to upset or fundamentally alter the trajectory of an election. But overthrowing Roe just might be one,” he wrote.
Other headlines included Bloomberg’s “Abortion rights could reconnect U.S. midterm exams,” “Democrats call for action from CBS News, Republicans voice support as draft ‘leaked Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. key fight in US midterm elections after startling legal leak’, which reported that ‘abortion rights now promise to reshape the dynamics of future midterm elections.
“Draft abortion ruling is already starting to cloud midterm reviews,” another NBC News headline read. Another article from the outlet: “Democrats energized after leaked abortion ruling shakes up midterms.”
“The news and the political conversation immediately shifted — from Ukraine, inflation and Biden’s stance, to abortion and what’s happening in a post-Roe world,” NBC News reported.
“Avoiding abortion rights may not boost the GOP in the medium term,” Vox reported. “Overnight, mid-term college students get a hot new target: abortion,” read a headline from The New York Times.
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On MSNBC, host Katy Tur railed against the news at the top of her daytime news show on Tuesday and asked MSNBC host and former Kamala Harris employee Symone Sanders if “it animates the mid-term voters”.
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“It’s an animation problem,” Sanders said. “It’s all women… It’s any woman. It’s any woman or anyone who needs this health care… Abortion is a right constitutional.”
“Will this move votes? CNN’s Victor Blackwell asked commentator John Kasich on Tuesday.
The former Republican governor of Ohio, who backed Biden in 2020, said he felt it would cost Republican House seats.
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace said much of the Democratic Party base was “enraged” and “energized” by the potential decision during a raunchy segment Wednesday about Republican Senate candidate from Ohio JD Vance, and MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle told guest Jennifer Palmieri on Tuesday, “Four days a few years ago, the question was how do you energize the Democrats for the midterms. They clearly are.
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Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all saw their parties suffer murderous losses in the first half terms of their presidencies. President George W. Bush bucked the trend when Republicans rolled in 2002, even though it was when he had strong approval in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks; in the 2006 midterm elections, during Bush’s second term, the Democrats regained control of Congress.