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What Florida's abortion rulings mean for the 2024 US election

What Florida's abortion rulings mean for the 2024 US election
What Florida's abortion rulings mean for the 2024 US election | US Politics

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC, shares his perspective on US politics.

This is what we are watching in US Politics this week: Abortion.

Abortion is the big story in US politics this week with the Florida state Supreme Court ruling that a ballot initiative that would protect access to abortion up until fetal viability will be on the ballot in abortion in Florida this year. Democrats are excited about this ruling because it was starting to look like Florida was increasingly out of reach for them.

Republicans now out register Democratic voters in the state by over 800,000 registered voters, which is a flip from a decade ago when Democrats outnumbered Republicans by about 500,000 registered voters. Florida is looking like more and more of a red state with a massive 20 point victory for Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in the 2022 midterm elections. That's what was making Democrats feel like it wouldn't be a very competitive state in this presidential cycle.

However, with abortion on the ballot, they now see an opportunity for outside groups to come in and spend a bunch of money who otherwise wouldn't have sent money there, forcing Republicans to respond by potentially wasting money there. The state is probably a little bit too red for it to truly be competitive for President Biden in this election cycle.

But this abortion referendum story is going to play out across the country. Democratic activists have the opportunity to get abortion on the ballot in two critical swing states of Nevada and Arizona. But it's unlikely they would show up in the other swing states of Wisconsin or Michigan, because Wisconsin had a recent state Supreme Court decision about it. And Michigan had an abortion referendum in 2022. That doesn't mean they can't find other ways to make this election about access to abortion, which has been a very positive issue for Democrats.

There have been seven state referendums since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And in each of those, the electorate shifted significantly to the left from what they did in the 2020 results, even in deep red states like Kansas and Kentucky. So this is going to be an important issue to keep watching throughout the election. And could be one of the wild cards that helps Joe Biden overcome the bad polls that he's been experiencing in recent weeks.


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