EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – As protests around the country continue about the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v Wade, local experts weigh in on how the conversation on abortion rights could affect Texas midterm elections in November.
Political science professor at UTEP Tod Curry said he could see higher voter turnout as the topic might motivate more Texans to go to the polls.
“It is an election with consequences, which, frankly, in Texas, most gubernatorial elections tend to not have really high consequences. But this year will be different,” Curry said.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke posted on Twitter on Tuesday that he stands behind accessible abortion.
In a video posted on Twitter O’Roruke said “unlike Gregg Abbot, we’re not going to wage a war on the women of the state of Texas and tell them what they can or cannot do with their bodies or their healthcare or their future.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in an interview with Joe Pags on Wednesday that “Texas is a pro-life state,” also mentioning his gubernatorial win in 2014 against former senator Wendy Davis, known as an advocate for abortion rights.
“She lost to me by 20 percentage points. The same fate will meet with Beto on the campaign trail,” said Abbott in the interview.
However, the newest UT poll shows Texans seem to be shifting in their attitude towards abortion.
According to the poll, 79 percent of Texans support accessible abortion in some form.
Scott Braddock, editor of Quorum Report said, while it seems that higher voter turnout might benefit Democrats in November, the party hasn’t had the best year.
“The fact that we have a questionable economy, right we have a decent jobs market but inflation is a concern, not just the Republicans but of Democrats too,” said Braddock.
He said, historically, looking at midterm elections, the current president’s political party usually suffers losses in seats, and president Biden’s poll numbers have been dropping.
“But think about what we’re gonna see all the way to November. It’s several lifetimes away. And we still don’t know what sort of bombshell developments are going to happen between now and then,” he added.
Both Curry and Braddock agreed it is still too early to predict how this issue could impact the election.
As of now, there are many crucial issues on the table, Braddock explained.
“Think about the economy, inflation, electricity grid, and we still have to go through the long hot summer in Texas. I’ve got energy lobbyists who have told me that they expect there to be not one but maybe two extended power outages. That’s another thing we should have Greg Abbott nervous,” Braddock said.
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