Biggest Midterm Abortion Battleground: Pennsylvania

Republicans are deeply skeptical that abortion can revive the Democratic base. “Their people are depressed,” said Rob Gleason, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. “Nothing can save them this year. Speaking from Philadelphia after a road trip from his home in western Pennsylvania, Gleason said: “I pulled over on the highway and paid $5.40 a gallon for gas. It reminds me that every time I fuel up, I want a change.”

Pennsylvania’s large Roman Catholic population — about one in five adults — has provided electoral space for a tradition of anti-abortion Democratic officials, including Senator Bob Casey Jr., and his father, Bob Casey Sr., who served as governor. . A law that Senior Casey imposed on the legislature in the 1980s included some restrictions on abortion, which was challenged in the 1992 Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The court upheld most of the state’s restrictions, while affirming Roe v. Wade. Last week’s leaked draft court opinion, written by Judge Samuel Alito, would overturn Casey’s decision along with Roe.

Still, support for abortion rights in Pennsylvania has gradually increased, according to research from Franklin & Marshall College over more than a decade.

Last month, 31 percent of registered voters said abortion should be legal in all circumstances, up from 18 percent in 2009. Those calling for abortion to be illegal in all circumstances dropped to 16 percent from 22 percent. percent in 2009. A broad middle group, 53%, said abortion should be legal in “certain circumstances.”

The issue did not rank highly among state voters prior to the Supreme Court leak. In a Monmouth University poll last month, abortion was cited as one of the top two issues for Pennsylvania voters by just 5% of Democrats and 3% of Republicans. Inflation led voters’ concerns in both parties.

In Hanover Township, on the outskirts of Allentown, an affluent suburb in a former Republican enclave turned blue trend, Dave Savage and Vincent Milite, both center-right voters, looked at the abortion issue through the eyes of their adult daughters as they carried groceries. outside a Wegman Supermarket.

Savage, 63, said his 30-year-old daughter strongly believed that abortion should be legalized and would therefore be a major issue for him in November.

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