In 2024, New York alone could flip control of the House if Democrats manage to claim five of the seven battleground districts Republicans won in the ‘22 midterms.
House Democrats are aiming to do exactly that by centering the races on ongoing GOP efforts to restrict abortion access. If Republicans think they got walloped by the Supreme Court upending a 50-year abortion precedent, they ain't seen nothing yet.
“It’s possible there are voters who felt immune to the fallout of the Dobbs decision previously. This will be at their front door, and we’re confident that this will help activate them to engage even deeper on this issue than even we saw in 2022,” Ryan Stitzlein, senior national political director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told Politico.
In particular, a case before a federal judge in Texas threatens to limit nationwide access to a widely used abortion pill regardless of state laws.
In addition, Republican lawmakers at the state level continue to push increasingly draconian anti-abortion measures. In Florida, for instance, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis ran for reelection in 2022 after signing a 15-week abortion ban in his state. But if he runs for president this cycle, he will likely do so having since signed into law a six-week abortion ban that would restrict access before most people even know they are pregnant. That may make him a hero in the GOP primary, but it would likely also make him a pariah among swing voters in a general election scenario.
The only GOP presidential contender who seems clear about the fact that outlawing abortion will be a millstone around Republicans' necks is the guy who made it all possible by packing the Supreme Court with right-wing anti-abortion judges. Now, however, Donald Trump isn't super keen on talking up his stunning success at dismantling nationwide abortion rights.
But by and large, if Republicans are proving anything, it's that they and their anti-abortion supporters will never be satisfied until a national abortion ban with zero exceptions is the law of the land.
The right-wing forced birther organization Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Pro-Life America is asking every Republican presidential candidate to sign a 15-week national abortion ban pledge.
“If any GOP primary candidate fails to summon the moral courage to endorse a 15-week gestational minimum standard, then they don’t deserve to be the president of the United States,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, told The Washington Post.
So as newly elected New York Republican Reps. Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, George Santos, Nick LaLota, and Brandon Williams campaign for reelection, they will be forced to walk a tightrope between national Republicans and the voters in their districts.
In fact, Democrats' House Majority PAC, which plans to drop at least $45 million on New York races alone, has already listed all six of those New York GOP members as a target.
Democratic Rep. Joe Morelle of New York explained Republicans’ forthcoming dilemma.
“Incumbents here, they’re going to have to make a decision about whether or not they’re going to adhere to the national agenda that has been established by, frankly, pretty extreme members of the Republican Party,” Morelle said. Or if “they’re going to represent the interests of people in their communities that are much more moderate.”
Morelle told Politico he's "convinced" that Republicans in the House and Senate will attempt to pass a national abortion ban just as soon as they can, rendering statewide abortion protections meaningless.
But at present, Democrats believe any GOP abortion restrictions that take hold between now and the 2024 election will be a disaster for New York Republicans in moderate districts.
“In New York, I think the Republicans are going to pay very dearly," predicted longtime Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York.