VIEWPOINT: The 15-week sweet spot
By Erick Erickson
The conventional wisdom after Tuesday's elections is that abortion is a killer for the GOP. Republicans had high hopes of winning the Virginia legislature but lost the Virginia House and did not gain the Virginia Senate. In Ohio, an abortion constitutional amendment passed. But a review of the Virginia data suggests a 15-week abortion compromise actually is a winning issue for the Republicans.
In 2023, anticipating a hard Democrat attack against the GOP on the issue of abortion, Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia led the GOP to embrace a 15-week abortion law that would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. As Democrats revved up their attacks on Youngkin and the Republicans, insisting the GOP would ban all abortions, the GOP pushed back with their compromise proposal over and over.
On Election Night 2023, things did not go the way the GOP wanted. Republicans not only lost the Virginia House of Delegates, but they failed to gain the Virginia Senate. Naturally, the conventional wisdom rushed to explain it all as abortion politics. The conventional wisdom is wrong.
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