by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I know polling earlier this summer showed that Democrats were getting an advantage from the overturning of Roe v. Wade. But it seems like political malpractice to me for Biden to say what he said [Tuesday]:
President Biden announced in a Tuesday speech that his top legislative priority after the midterms will be codifying a national right to abortion, should the Democratic Party retain control of the House and expand its Senate footprint.
“Here is the promise I make to you and the American people, the first bill I’ll send to Congress is to codify Roe v. Wade,” Biden said during remarks at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C.
The move is intended to galvanize support among Democratic and independent women as his polling numbers slump ahead of November’s midterm elections. …
… The New York Times/Siena College poll, which has Democrats fearing the worst this week, is basically screaming at Democrats that voters rate the economy and inflation as their top issue.
Abortion is just not the top issue, even if it motivates activists and donors. It is as if Democrats are looking at these numbers and deciding that they should just concede an advantage on the economy to Republicans and instead try to change the subject to cultural issues. That’s a terrible strategy. If Democrats want to win, they at least have to address themselves to the issues top-most in voters’ minds. So what if voters don’t believe that the Inflation Reduction Act has bequeathed them a great economy? You can’t change the past, but you are always campaigning on what you will do in office in the future. Republicans only stopped their slide down the polls this summer by talking about abortion themselves, by bringing up the sort of policies they would support in office — bans after 15 weeks, etc.