Nativism Trumps Abortion?

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Writing at The Hill, Juan Williams contends that voters hoping to legalize abortion are a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming election:

Nativist Republicans hope to cash in on this gang leader's recent rise to power in Haiti at election time. (Image by Voice of America, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.)
It was the biggest issue in the 2022 midterms, halting a promised "Red Wave," of Republican victories. Last year voters in Virginia gave Democrats the majority of the state legislature after Republicans backed a 15-week ban on abortions.

And this year, abortion rights are likely to be on the ballot in several states where activists are pushing to make abortion access a right in the state constitution. Some of those states are critical to the outcome of the race for the White House, including Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

States with lots of Republican voters, including Kansas and Ohio, are among the six states that have already voted to approve state constitutional protection for abortion. In fact, so far, voters have backed abortion rights every time it has been on the ballot. [links omitted, bold added]
Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump, who helped cause Roe vs. Wade to be overturned with his Supreme Court appointments, is hoping nativism and xenophobia will come to his rescue:
Trump is trying to cloud over the abortion fight by loudly demonizing immigrants. The only way that can work is if most of the country joins in the immigration hype.
This, Williams suggests, is due to the economy not being a clear win for him in this election.

I don't think Williams is completely right. Although Trump certainly doesn't deserve more trust on the economy, I think he probably still has that to a degree. That said, I think Trump is definitely working to make the non-crisis that is immigration into the centerpiece of his campaign, at least in part to distract from abortion and his general unfitness for office.

It will be interesting to see how this strategy pans out. People concerned about abortion are unlikly to forget the issue. Maybe some who are concerned about abortion (and believe "Honest Don" when he claims to want abortion legal up until 16 weeks) and worry about importing Haitian gangs might vote for Trump -- but also Democrats for Congress.

-- CAV


Jennifer Snow said...

Man, seeing that go through on the Ohio ballot was absolutely a triumph. Abortion rights and marijuana legalization on the same day.

Gus Van Horn said...

It was a relief, too!