RNC chair thinks Republican candidates shouldn’t shy away from talking about abortion
Ronna McDaniel acknowledged the issue hurt her party in the 2022 elections.
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said Sunday that her party’s problems in the 2022 election were largely due to a lack of support from independent voters and noted that the issue of abortion was a major reason. She then urged GOP candidates to talk even more about the issue, though polls show most Americans favor abortion rights, unlike most Republican lawmakers.
During the program “Fox News Sunday,” host Shannon Bream asked McDaniel why a draft GOP autopsy of the 2022 midterm elections had not included any mention of former President Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, the draft examined why Republicans did not win the Senate and made fewer gains in the House than the GOP had expected.
McDaniel noted that there is not yet a final draft of the report and said:
What I will say is, the biggest takeaway we’re taking is independents did not break our way, which has to happen if we’re going to win in 2024, which usually, that’s what causes that red wave. And abortion was a big issue in key states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. And so, the guidance we’re going to give to our candidates is, you have to address this head-on. The Democrats spent $360 million on this and many of our candidates across the board refused to talk about it, thinking, Oh, we can just talk about the economy and ignore this big issue, and they can’t.
Claiming that Democrats are lying about abortion, McDaniel added:
Listen, I’m proud to be pro-life. The consensus — we have to find consensus among Democrats and Republicans. Let’s see where the Democrats are. What abortion is a bad idea to a Democrat? Nine-month, eight-month, seventh-month? They can’t even articulate an abortion that’s a bad idea. Gender selection, if it’s a girl, you get to abort it? Taxpayer-funded abortions for people where it’s against their religious conscience? That’s where Joe Biden was years ago. So I think, put them on the defensive and articulate where you stand, and that’s going to be that critical message we have to get out before these — before 2024.
McDaniel is correct that abortion rights were a major issue in the 2022 elections in key swing states.
An ABC News exit poll in November found that 62% of Pennsylvania voters generally believe abortion should be legal, compared to 34% who said they believe the procedure should be illegalOveran a third of voters said the issue was the biggest factor in their voting decisions.
In McDaniel’s home state of Michigan, voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing reproductive rights 57%-43%.
Voters in five other states also backed abortion rights in statewide referendums, including Republican-leaning Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana.
National polls suggest that Republicans talking more about abortion bans may not win over independents or swing-state voters.
An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted in April found that 61% of Americans think of themselves as mostly supporting abortion rights, while 37% think of themselves as mostly opposing abortion rights. Among independents, 62% were generally in favor of abortion rights while 35% were generally against them.
A Pew Research Center poll taken in March and April found that American adults believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases by 62%-36%.
In February, the GOP-allied group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and its Women Speak Out super PAC spent millions of dollars attacking pro-choice Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Janet Protasiewicz and praising her opponent Daniel Kelly for his “proven record of respecting life.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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