At their strategy retreat in Northern Virginia, House Democratic leaders told The Hill’s Mike Lillis that the fight to protect abortion rights will rise above all issues. Democrats want to draw a contrast to Republicans both nationally and in the states, as GOP officials in states like Texas look to enact even stricter anti-abortion policies.
Focusing on abortion has paid off well for Democrats ever since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. Even though Dobbs will be more than two years old by the time voters go to the polls in November, party leaders said they think it will still be a winning message.
“This is the pivotal issue of 2024,” Rep. Katherine Clark (Mass.), the Democratic whip, told reporters. “It is the fight that will determine the trajectory of the next four years, and the next four decades.”
Still, some recent polls indicate immigration has overtaken all other issues — including inflation and abortion — as the most pressing concern on the minds of voters amid the ongoing crisis on the southern border.
But the 2022 mid-term elections were also supposed to be a referendum on other issues, including the economy and President Biden’s low approval numbers. Instead, Democrats rode a wave of abortion anger to blunt GOP successes— Republicans secured only a tiny House majority, while Democrats retained control of the Senate.
Republicans are also hardly running away from abortion, though the party is still somewhat divided as to how to approach it.
Former President Trump, who appointed the three conservative justices who ultimately helped topple Roe, is touting his anti-abortion track record as he moves closer to securing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“Nobody has done more in that regard,” he said last month during a town hall in Iowa.