Abortion, the Republican Party, and the 2022 Elections

The Story:

The normal pattern, in U.S. politics, is that the party of the presidency loses seats, in one or often both houses of Congress, in the elections in which the President himself is not on the ballot. There are exceptions (the Democratic Party gained seats in both houses in 1934) but they are not frequent. Nonetheless, it is a reasonable hypothesis that the 2022 election will be an exception.


It has come to seem very likely that the U.S. Supreme Court, as a consequence of its majority of Republican nominees, will formally overturn the precedential force of Roe v. Wade in the late spring or early summer of 2022, just as the political parties are holding their primaries or nominating conventions in states and congressional districts across the country.

That decision, when it comes, will dominate the political conversation, even beyond the usual economic questions, and even beyond matters of epidemiology. It is reasonable to suppose that it will generate an anti-Republican wave, especially with regard to the Senate campaigns, which have an immediate connection to the make-up of the Supreme Court. The House elections could be, for the Republican Party, collateral damage.

the Thing to Know:

As the news website Axios reported recently, an anonymous Republican political operative shared his concerns that many in his party are blind to the danger posed by the political backlash from the likely abortion decision. If Roe falls the suburbs surrounding cities like Charleston and Des Moines become the critical battleground. They are where one would see usually-Republican voters crossing sides to decisive effect in many races.


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