Democrats who were hoping for a political boost in the November midterms following the leak of a preliminary Supreme Court decision indicating a majority of justices want to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision are likely to be disappointed.
POLITICO noted on late Tuesday that ActBlue, the party’s fundraising platform, did not take in an appreciable increase (from the daily average) of donations following the outlet’s report on Monday evening about the potential ruling.
The Daily Wire reports that ActBlue took in just $9 million in donations, a minimal increase from days prior, adding:
Donations increased to $12 million by midnight Tuesday, but that number was paltry compared to ActBlue’s record fundraising day after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020. ActBlue smashed its single day fundraising record that day, raising more than $70 million between September 18-19, 2020, Politico reported at the time.
Democratic pollsters and strategists who spoke to Politico were skeptical that the leak would drive voters. Some were more optimistic, arguing that voters haven’t had time to fully digest the news yet, and that once Democrats begin messaging on the issue, it will drive voters, but many said that overturning Roe wouldn’t be much help. Issues like inflation are still much more pressing concerns, and the base of the party, who would vote to preserve abortion rights, already live in Democratic states that protect abortion, and are already expected to turn out in large numbers anyway.
“Midterm voters care about affordability first and foremost, and they are not people who are worried every single day about losing access to abortion,” noted Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky, who began her career at the pro-abortion rights advocacy group EMILY’s List.
“Is this something they lose sleep over every night? No. What they do lose sleep over is, ‘I can’t fill up my gas tank, it’s really expensive. I can’t afford to send my kid to college, it’s really expensive,'” she continued.
“Any voter who will vote purely based on [Roe] is an incredibly committed voter who will be coming out in the midterms, anyway.”
Some new surveys indicate she is correct.
“A Politico/Morning Consult poll of nearly 2,000 registered voters conducted Tuesday, the day after the draft opinion leaked, showed that while voters oppose overturning Roe v. Wade by a 50%-28% margin, the issue is at the bottom of voters’ concerns, even among Democrats,” The Daily Wire reported, adding that the economy and inflation are the top issues for voters of both parties, and by significant margins.
Fox News highlighted a survey Tuesday evening showing that abortion did not even make the top 10 list of voters’ concerns (it was No. 11).
Another prominent Dem also believes that voters are more concerned about their shrinking disposable income in the age of President Biden and a Democrat-controlled Congress.
“Inflation is the number one driving factor … I believe in my state right now it’s hurting everybody,” CNN’s Manu Raju quoted Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia as saying in a tweet Tuesday. “Follow the money.”
Joe Manchin, who opposes abortion rights, says he believes inflation — not Roe — will be the defining issue in the midterm election. “Inflation is the number one driving factor … I believe in my state right now it’s hurting everybody,” he told us. “Follow the money.”
— Manu Raju
The leaked ‘Roe’ opinion, signed by a majority of SCOTUS justices and written by Justice Samuel Alito, is not the high court’s official final ruling. That could still change; in fact, some political observers believe it was leaked purposely to pressure those justices into changing their minds.
However, if the decision does hold largely as-is, it won’t ban abortions. Rather, it will simply return the issue to states for them to decide, as was the case prior to the 1973 decision.