Post-Election: Is The GOP In Trouble in 2024?
Authored by Terri Wu via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Abortion politics propelled the Democrats to a sweeping victory in last week’s elections. The party kept the governorship in the profoundly red state of Kentucky, took full control of the Virginia legislature, grew their majorities in both chambers in New Jersey, won a state Supreme Court seat in Pennsylvania, and added the right to abortion into the Ohio constitution.
The post-Roe backlash has continued to produce victories for Democrats since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion and reverted the matter to the states in June last year.
Republicans need to focus on other issues, said Robert Shapiro, a political science professor at Columbia University.
In his view, 2024 will be a whole new ball game, and Republicans can win by focusing on issues such as reducing crime and securing the southern border.
George Allen, former Republican Virginia governor, said Republicans should message the abortion issue as a matter for the states.
“It’s a local state issue; it’s not an issue for the federal government to get involved in,” Mr. Allen told The Epoch Times. “Say this endlessly, endlessly, endlessly.”
Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has refused to endorse a federal abortion policy.
He has expressed at campaign events in deeply conservative Iowa how Democrats are turning voters off Republicans who take too hard a line on abortion while saying he believes that people should “follow their heart” when it comes to abortion policy and work to speak more clearly about the issue.
“Without the exceptions, it is very difficult to win elections,” President Trump said. “We would probably lose majorities [in Congress] in 2024 without the exceptions, and perhaps the presidency itself.”
Mr. Allen acknowledges that it’s hard to get all Republicans to take the same stance. For example, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) has introduced a bill for a federal 15-week limit on abortion with the exception of rape, incest, and risk to the life of the mother.
Mr. Allen believes the best Republican presidential candidate on the issue is former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley because she is “honest, pragmatic, practical.”
At the third Republican presidential candidate debate held the day after the election, Ms. Haley repeated that she’s “unapologetically pro-life” and continued calling for “consensus” on abortion policies while acknowledging the deeply personal nature of the issue.
“Let’s agree on how we can ban late-term abortions,” she said. “Let’s make sure we encourage adoptions and good quality adoptions.”
Mr. Allen said that the abortion issue might pose a challenge to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis because of a new law passed in his state this year, limiting abortion up to six weeks gestation. However, Mr. DeSantis could say that the law represents the will of the voters in Florida and could keep the issue on the state level, according to Mr. Allen.
At the Nov. 8 debate, Mr. DeSantis said pro-life groups were “caught flat-footed on these referenda,” whether it was on the ballot as with Ohio or by proxy in Kentucky, Virginia, and other states.
He suggested their messaging needs to appeal to Republicans who are turning out to vote.
“A lot of the people who are voting for the referenda are Republicans who would vote for a Republican candidate,” he added. “So you’ve got to understand how to do that.”
Eighteen percent of Ohio Republicans voted to include abortion rights in the state’s constitution.
Voter turnout in the Buckeye State was unusually high for an off-year election. With the abortion issue on the ballot, 3.9 million Ohioans voted, nearly matching the 2022 midterms’ voter participation level of 4.2 million.
Off-year elections—elections held in odd-number years—“do not necessarily predict the following year,” according to an analysis by the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
The authors argue that while the state races generated favorable results for the Democrats, that didn’t change those states’ trajectory in partisan races, which will define 2024 more.
For the Commonwealth of Virginia, the authors treated Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s victory in 2021, another off-year election, as an exception in the blue-leaning territory that had voted for only one Republican governor in the two decades prior.
Turnout and Support
In Mr. Shapiro’s view, to win the 2024 presidential election, Democrats must excite and turn out their votes like in 2020 and 2022. However, “the enthusiasm at this point seems to be more on the Republican side with Trump supporters and voters voting against the Democrats [rather] than with excitement in the Democratic base,” he said.
Bob Holsworth, a Richmond-based veteran political analyst, said the Republicans hadn’t arrived at one blockbuster issue yet to win the 2024 elections.
However, he said Bidenomics wouldn’t help keep President Biden in the White House. His read is that even though inflation has shown signs of cooling, the impact has been felt by both sides and has turned off some voters in the Democratic base.
Whether they can be convinced in 2024 remains to be seen. “I think the Democrats are making a big mistake by not challenging Biden,” he told The Epoch Times.
Recent poll numbers show that Republicans are more motivated to vote as a way of vouching their support for Donald Trump, former president and presumptive Republican nominee, rather than fending off President Joe Biden.
In a Nov. 1 Quinnipiac University poll, among 1,610 self-identified registered voters, 58 percent of Republicans said they were more motivated to vote in 2024 than previous presidential elections, compared to 47 percent of Democrats.
And more Biden votes are a disapproval of President Trump than a nod for President Biden.
In a September NBC poll, a majority, or 58 percent, of Biden voters said they would vote for President Biden due to their dislike of President Trump. By contrast, a similar share of the Trump voters said they would do so because they support President Trump.
Jim Gilmore, former Republican Virginia governor and former ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the left wing in the United States doesn’t understand conservatives’ unwavering support for President Trump.
In Mr. Gilmore’s view, conservatives “feel under threat, under assault” when they see rampant crime and the insecure southern border, and the sweeping Democratic win over the abortion issue heightens that sense.
“Here’s the bottom line: the Republicans and the conservatives in this country are looking for someone to fight for them,” he told The Epoch Times.
“And I think they’ve decided that that person is Donald Trump.”
Economy, Foreign Policy, and the Border
In a widely discussed survey, a New York Times/Siena poll published days before the 2023 Election Day found President Biden trailing President Trump in five of six swing states and a general decline in the Democrats’ minority base.
According to the poll, President Trump’s lead over President Biden is based on the top issues of the economy, foreign policy, and immigration.
A majority of those polled voters—600 in each state of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—said President Biden’s policies made their lives worse.
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Thu, 11/16/2023 – 17:40