DENVER (CBS4) – If a draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Roe v. Wade holds, abortion could be a central issue in the 2022 midterm elections.
The draft was leaked to the online new site Politico and suggests the justices are poised to overturn the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.
A new state law ensures abortion will remain legal in Colorado regardless of how the court rules, but it’s decision could still have big political ramifications.
In six months voters will decide which party controls Congress. Midterm elections are largely decided on turnout and polls show Republicans are motivated to vote and Democrats are not. From high inflation and high crime, to the President’s low approval ratings, Democrats face enormous political headwinds in 2022. But the abortion issue could galvanize them.
“The Democrats are desperate for an issue, so I can see them glomming onto this and making this their agenda this November,” says CBS4 Republican Analyst Dick Wadhams.
He argues the strategy will backfire.
“I’ve got a person they should remember, former U.S. Senator Mark Udall, who used the abortion issue as the only issue he ran on in 2014 and Cory Gardner unseated him. If they want to run on all abortion, all abortion, all the time, it ain’t going to work,” Wadhams explained.
CBS4 Democratic Analyst Mike Dino agrees that single issue campaigns don’t work, but he says the abortion issue will help Democrats running for Congress.
“I think nationally it gives a rallying cry certainly for traditional Democrats and women who rally around the Democrats,” Dino told CBS4’s Shaun Boyd.
Dino said Democratic candidates in the Colorado’s 7th Congressional District and its newly drawn 8th Congressional District are already using the issue to raise money.
“I think because of the margins in that for Democrats they’ll carve out niche that will help them gain traction on that issue,” Dino said.
Wadhams admits Republicans are at a disadvantage in a state with a history of voting pro-abortion rights but, he says, there are many issues voters care more about than abortion.
“I think the people of Colorado are much more concerned about the decline of this state under total Democratic control than they are about the repeal of Roe v. Wade,” Wadhams said.
A bill that passed the U-S House would codify Roe v. Wade into law but it failed in the Senate and Senator Michael Bennet said, while the House will likely vote on the bill again next week, Democrats would need to get rid of the filibuster to pass it.
“The last thing I want to do is raise false hope because I know the votes are not there to change the filibuster, to do this, but I believe very strongly we have to codify Roe v. Wade as law of the land,” Bennet said.
The abortion issue could also impact state legislative races. The law protecting abortion will motivate anti-abortion rights voters, which helps Republicans. But if the failure of several Personhood measures is any indication, unaffiliated voters tend to be pro-abortion rights. They may be more likely now to vote Democrat in state races to make sure abortion remains legal in Colorado.