Democrats fear Trump's abortion pivot could help him win in November: report

 April 11, 2024

Donald Trump's recent pivot to the middle on abortion has angered pro-life conservatives, but it has Democrats worried that he may disarm one of their most potent political talking points. 

The Biden campaign is eager to paint Trump as an anti-abortion "extremist" as Biden struggles to win voters on other key issues, including crime and the economy.

This week, Trump threw a wrench in Biden's narrative by rejecting calls for a national abortion ban. Instead, Trump said the issue should be decided by the states.

Trump scares Dems

Some Democrats acknowledge that Trump's embrace of a laissez-faire position on abortion could help him win moderate voters.

“If the election were held today, Trump would win and that means he’s winning moderates over as we speak,” one Democratic strategist acknowledged to The Hill. 

Abortion backlash has already paid dividends for Democrats in the past two election cycles since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Despite Trump's shift, Biden is determined to keep abortion at the top of voters' minds.

Biden got something of a lifeline when, just one day after Trump's abortion statement, the Supreme Court of Arizona revived an abortion ban from 1864.

Trump said the ruling went "too far," but the Biden campaign has already pounced with a splashy ad buy in the swing state.

Biden doubling down

The vehemence of Biden's abortion rhetoric can perhaps be explained by his rather dismal re-election prospects.

A sobering inflation report Wednesday poured cold water on Biden's claims of an economic miracle.

Most Americans have nostalgia for the pre-COVID economy, when prices were much lower, and the comparatively calm border situation under Biden's predecessor.

“The thing that’s most alarming is that people know this guy and even though they’re turned off by him, they’re willing to accept his flaws because they think he’d handle these issues better than Biden has,” the Democratic strategist said.

Democrats are working in a number of states, including Arizona, to put abortion on the ballot in hopes of driving turnout.

In the meantime, Biden has continued to claim that Trump wants to ban abortion at the federal level despite Trump's embrace of a states' rights position.

The Biden campaign released a breathless statement Wednesday about Trump's "plan" for a national ban and blamed him for "suffering and chaos" in Arizona, which has been heavily impacted by the Biden border crisis.

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