News and HeadlinesNational Politics

Actions

How big of a role will abortion play in this year's midterm?

Voter data indicates a spike in interest, but economic concerns remain a top issue.
Election 2022 State Supreme Courts
Posted at 5:00 AM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 11:57:03-04

MADISON, Wisc. — If you were at any rally this summer regarding abortion, you likely felt how powerful and personal the issue is for many on both sides.

But in this upcoming election — just how important will the issue be?

If you head to Madison, Wisconsin, a notoriously Democratic town in one of the country's most critical battleground states, you get a sense of how top of mind the issue still is.

Christy McKenzie and Lauren Montalbano — two entrepreneurs in town — are a perfect example of how personal the issue is and how it may make a difference in November.

McKenzie owns Pasture and Plenty.
Montalbano owns the Vibrant Veg.

Both women usually sell food in their shops.

They also sell tee shirts and stickers in their stores advocating for women's rights.

Both women also helped launch "Pink Out Week" a few weeks back — a week in which a portion of proceeds from various restaurants went to reproductive rights organizations.

"When Lauren texted, she said what are we going to do — I said we are going to do everything," McKenzie said.

"Our literal rights are at stake," Montalbano said.

VOTING DATA

The impact of the Supreme Court decision from June goes well beyond merchandise, however.

In Maricopa County, Arizona, a key county that makes up most voters in the state, in the weeks following the abortion decision, voter registrations by younger women, who registered with the Democrat party specifically, increased compared to the months prior.

In Ohio, there was a 6.4% increase in female voters.

In Kansas, in the week after the court's decision, more than 70% of newly registered voters in Kansas were women.

NOT JUST DEMOCRATS

"Pro-lifers tend to be a little quieter," Gracie Skogman, with Wisconsin's Right to life, told our Joe St. George recently.

Skogman says it would be a mistake to think Democrats are the only place fired-up women are turning to.

Conservative-leaning organizations like hers, she says, are seeing an increase in interest, too, especially with volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers, places that often encourage women to avoid an abortion.

"People have so much enthusiasm for protecting life.," Skogman said.

"Our pregnancy research centers are seeing, in some cases, double the clients," Skogman added.

"We are talking about more volunteers than ever before."

We won't know until election night how big of an impact abortion will have.

The economy remains the top issue on voters' minds based on current polling.

Any abortion restrictions at the national level are unlikely following the midterm.

While some Republicans in Congress want new ones voted on if they take back congress, President Biden has threatened vetoes.

Democrats, meanwhile, are hoping for a few unexpected victories so a vote to codify the right to an abortion nationwide can take place.