Schumer: ‘The voters always cared about abortion’
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday said midterm voters “always cared about abortion” after reproductive rights proved to be a decisive factor for many midterm voters.
Exit polls showed 27 percent of voters cited abortion as the single most important issue that informed their vote, just behind inflation at 31 percent.
Schumer said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday that Democratic candidates up and down the ballot continued to campaign on abortion rights, even when polls indicated it was fading as a major issue for Americans.
“It stayed in the hearts of the people,” Schumer said. “Abortion had always stayed as a very important issue with large numbers of people.”
Democrats captured the Senate over the weekend and are still in the fight for control of the House, though even President Biden conceded Monday that a GOP majority is likely in the lower chamber.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion in June, Democrats saw a bump in polls and won bellwether special elections over the summer.
But the momentum appeared to fade over the fall as November drew closer, mostly because inflation was rising, fears of a recession loomed and polls showed the economy far outpaced any other issue on voters’ minds.
Democrats have contributed their surprising midterm successes to campaigning on abortion rights, as well as messaging on saving democracy from former President Trump and his allies and fellow election deniers.
Abortion rights also prevailed in all five states with abortion access on the ballot — California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont.
Schumer on Monday said Republicans were viewed as too radical on abortion, which “symbolized how extreme the party had become.”
“That had ramifications even beyond the abortion issue,” he said.