Pollster says abortion issue may not benefit GOP politically

Polling analyst Dan Cox said on Wednesday that, while anti-abortion measures are advancing in statehouses across the nation, the issue may ultimately prove damaging to the Republican Party because it is helping to energize the Democratic voting base. 

"When you look at the politics, it's not that great for the GOP," Cox, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told host Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"This is an animating issue for Democrats right now because they are more worried about these restrictions," he continued. "We've seen a raft of state-level restrictions since 2010, and they're more worried about it being legal, and it's animating them." 

The Alabama state Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would ban almost all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest. The bill now heads to Gov. Kay Ivey (R) to be signed into law. 

The passage is part of a growing trend in abortion legislation in the U.S., with 16 states passing or considering abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy.

Supporters of the Alabama legislation hope it will lead to a Supreme Court battle over Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. 

Democratic presidential candidates have already taken aim at the legislation, calling it an attack on women's rights.  

— Julia Manchester