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Abortion vote in Florida might mean a state switch



Florida – Democrats are optimistic that a ballot question protecting abortion rights will make Florida relevant once again as the nation’s greatest swing state for the presidential election, despite the state’s recent reputation as a true red state.

Proponents of abortion rights were encouraged on Monday by two verdicts from the California Supreme Court: one that opens the door for a six-week abortion ban, and another that allows voters to overturn the restriction while they vote for president.

According to Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, “this puts Florida in play.”

Democrats in other states have profited, according to Newhouse, from more than simply the national abortion referendum. It’s also the fact that, in the months preceding the November election, voters in Florida will have to live with the severe new limitations on abortion.

While it is true that in other states, the fight for abortion rights has helped proponents of the right to vote win elections, this is Florida, and Democrats have a history of turning opportunities into setbacks. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether this issue will cause Florida to turn blue again as President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump prepare for a rematch.

Even after the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, Republican governor Ron DeSantis won reelection in 2022 with a landslide, despite the abortion debate. Democrats warned properly when DeSantis approved additional limitations on abortion rights, threatening to severely curtail access to the practice.
The abortion vote has been “really energizing” in states with moderate or somewhat conservative populations, according to Republican pollster Adam Geller, who conducted polls for Trump’s 2019 campaign. However, Florida is “obviously a more Republican state.”

“What Biden has now in 2024 is the burden of defending his record the last four years,” Geller said. “With all of the things he has to defend in the last four years, abortion is simply going to get watered down and it’s going to get lost in the context of these other issues.”

Abortion support transcends political lines and continues to gain ground at the polls, even in states where Republicans control the legislature and Trump was elected.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, voters have supported abortion rights in seven states, including Ohio, Kansas, and Kentucky, all of which lean Republican.

Voters in Kansas in 2022 soundly rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have taken away the state’s abortion rights, handily winning the day for proponents of abortion rights. In a similar vein, voters in Kentucky defeated a ballot initiative in 2022 that sought to remove abortion rights from the Constitution. Abortion rights were a major issue in several contests last year, including Ohio, where voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot initiative securing provisions for the right to an abortion in the state constitution.

Although Florida is one of the most costly states in which to purchase political advertisements, Democrats have been hesitant to pour money into the state until Monday’s decision, at which point they acted swiftly. In an ad buy on Tuesday, Biden’s campaign targeted Trump’s stance on abortion rights, including Florida.

According to Julie Chávez Rodríguez, the campaign manager for Biden, the state’s highest court has created a remote chance for Biden to win Florida.

“We’re clear-eyed about how hard it will be to win Florida, but we also know that Trump does not have it in the bag,” said Chávez Rodríguez on a phone call with reporters.

Following his address on Tuesday, Trump responded, “We’ll be making a statement next week on abortion,” when asked about the implementation of Florida’s six-week abortion ban.
Regarding abortion, the former president has been treading carefully. He frequently claims credit for selecting the justices of the Supreme Court who reversed Roe v. Wade in 2022, opening the door for a slew of new regulations.

However, Trump has also consistently attacked his fellow Republicans for taking a harsh stance on the matter, holding them accountable for the party’s midterm losses that year by opposing candidates who supported exceptions in situations like rape, incest, and situations in which the mother’s life is in danger.

Additionally, Trump—a former snowbird from New York who now resides in Florida and will cast a vote on the state’s abortion ballot question—previously referred to DeSantis’ signing of Florida’s six-week abortion restriction as a “terrible mistake” and implied that even pro-abortion activists thought it was “too harsh.”

Ever since Republican Jeb Bush entered office in 1999 and the GOP initially gained control of the executive branch and the Legislature, Democrats have been making an effort to remain relevant in Florida. George W. Bush won the presidency the following year when Democrat Al Gore lost Florida by a margin of 537 votes.

Gore planned to request recounts in specific counties during the five-week battle to end Florida’s 2000 election until the Supreme Court intervened. According to an assessment of the ballot and media coverage, Gore would still have lost if he had been successful in his fight for a statewide recount, but he might have won.

After Florida backed Bush for reelection in 2000, it twice went to Barack Obama and then backed Trump for two terms. Democrats’ aspirations for the upcoming election cycle have been repeatedly crushed as Republicans have routinely won statewide contests for governor, the Senate, and the cabinet—often by extremely narrow majorities.

Here is a short list of issues on which Democrats thought they would eventually retake Florida:

In 2002, Jeb Bush ran an anti-ballot initiative that sought to restrict the number of students in each classroom. The class size amendment was overwhelmingly approved, but Bush was as well.

In 2004, Democrats believed that party nominee John Kerry would win the state with the support of their resentment over the 2000 recount loss and President Bush’s low approval rating. Florida went to Bush with ease.

Term limitations were forcing Jeb Bush out of government in 2006, and Democrats saw an opportunity to nominate him for the vacant governorship. They were mistaken, as Charlie Crist, a Republican at the time, comfortably trounced his Democratic opponent.

Obama’s 2008 triumph was misinterpreted by Democrats in 2010 as a sign of future success, and Republican Marco Rubio used the Tea Party movement to capture a Senate seat.
In 2010, Democratic chief financial officer Alex Sink was favored over Republican candidate Rick Scott because of his experience as the CEO of a hospital system that had to pay a record fine for Medicaid fraud. Scott was reelected in 2014 with a vote share of less than half that of his winning candidate in the previous election.

Democrats had anticipated that putting a medical marijuana referendum on the ballot in 2016 would help propel her ahead of Trump. It didn’t occur.

Democrats believed that DeSantis would lose in the polls in 2018 as a result of his plan to run as a miniature Trump. In a contest that needed to be recounted, DeSantis prevailed with less than 50% of the vote.

Additionally, when DeSantis assumed office, Republicans surpassed Democrats in voter registration, DeSantis won a record-breaking margin for a Republican in 2022, Rubio won reelection with an even larger margin, and Republicans gained additional wins in Congress and the Legislature. There are currently about 5.2 million Republicans in Florida compared to less than 4.4 million Democrats.




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