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GOP must reframe abortion debate after Nov. 7 losses
The elections on November 7 were very revealing about how divided the country is. On the one hand, this last month, the Republicans picked up the governorship in Louisiana, which now means that there are 27 Republican governors. They kept the governorship in Mississippi by a fairly narrow margin. But nonetheless, they kept it. And they had a very, very good day in Long Island where they won seats and control of counties that they hadn’t had for over 20 years.
On the other hand, the great effort in Virginia, which everybody had paid attention to, where Governor Glen Younkin, who had been very popular, raised a great deal of money, campaigned very aggressively, wanted to keep control of the General Assembly, and win control of the Senate. Lost in both grounds, the Democrats gained control of the General Assembly, and they solidified their control of the Senate. And Governor Younkin’s gonna have a tough two years negotiating with a Democratic legislature.
So people have to look at that and ask what does that mean. The other really worrisome challenge was in Ohio, where a referendum to put abortion rights into the constitution of the state of Ohio, passed by about 55/45.
And that means that the with a 5545 margin. It’s one more example that every time the Democrats have focused aggressively on abortion, and Republicans have failed to deal with it, the Republicans have found themselves in trouble. Glenn Younkin tried to deal with it in Virginia and didn’t quite succeed. The Republicans in New York, dealt with it very aggressively, and then went back to focusing on the issues that they thought matter, which were taxes, housing, crime, and immigration. And it turns out that nowhere in the country, did anybody actually run as a Biden Democrat.
In fact, the one big gubernatorial victory was the reelection of Governor Bashir. Now, Governor Bashir was personally very popular, at a very big margin of advantage two or three weeks ago, won a pretty narrow reelection, as they began hammering on him about his ties to Joe Biden. And he shrank pretty dramatically, but not quite enough. His counter attack was on the abortion issue, where the state attorney general had actually filed a suit and gone all the way to the Supreme Court, in defense of restricting access to abortion. So you could make an argument that there was a state where the Democrats again, were trying out their new playbook.
I think what all this leads me to think about is that one, the Republicans have to find a career answer on the abortion issue, one, which, on the one hand, is acceptable to their right to life base, but which is also acceptable to the vast majority of Americans who do not want an extremist position. That is, they don’t want on the one hand, no abortions at all. But on the other hand, they don’t want an abortion in the ninth month on the last day.
So there’s some middle ground there that I think is defensible. But then Republicans have to pivot. You know, Ronald Reagan was a genius at this. He would reframe Whatever your question was, and go back to the issues he wanted to campaign on where he knew he had a big advantage.
Joe Biden is creating an opportunity, on immigration, on crime, on drug overdoses, on inflation, on the energy policy, again, and again and again, the Biden administration is creating an opportunity for Republicans to focus but to do that, they have to have a simple, clear, direct answer on abortion. And then they have to be prepared to pivot and really go very hard at all the failures that Democrats have created in the recent past, and I think that’s going to be a big challenge. And it’s gonna be a lot of what 2024 is all about.
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GOP must reframe abortion debate after Nov. 7 losses
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