web analytics

Will Abortion Turn Florida From Red to Blue?

Things appear to be getting a bit dicey in the Sunshine State.

Florida was shaping up as a solid win for Republicans in the upcoming election. GOP voter registration climbed to an 800,000-person advantage over the blue party, and the last time a Democratic senatorial or presidential candidate won in the Sunshine State was in 2012. It appeared to most political strategists that the halcyon days of the Democrats in Florida had come crashing to an end. Then came the battle over abortion.

Since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Florida has been the epicenter of changing state laws regarding abortion. It’s a convoluted situation that comes down to this: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation outlawing abortion after 15 weeks. During his presidential campaign, the governor was determined to tack to the right of President Donald Trump and thus began the push to ban abortions after six weeks.

This initiative sparked a legal brawl that ended when the Florida Supreme Court cleared the way for the six-week ban to take effect on May 1. Perhaps in a sop to the left, the state high court agreed to allow a ballot measure that would return abortion to the days of Roe – essentially permitting the medical procedure in Florida until “fetal viability.” Could there be a better way to bring out abortion advocates on Election Day?

The Politics of Abortion

These recent judicial decisions mean Florida voters will have to choose between two extremes regarding this controversial issue. Democrats, clearly elated by their good fortune, hastily responded: “[Abortion] will help mobilize and expand the electorate in the state, given the overwhelming majority of Floridians support abortion rights,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez crowed. Then she doubled down with, “Florida Republicans will be forced to defend their cruel, indefensible support of this abortion ban,” according to a campaign memo published in the Washington Examiner.

Now, Florida Democrats are all fired up while the GOP is left to wonder whether the referendum, coupled with the stringent six-week abortion ban, might drive up the left’s enthusiasm factor for Election 2024. It isn’t merely the Republican presidential contest that may be set back because of the abortion issue; it will also affect the down-ballot races.

Senate candidate and former Democratic congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell sees the voter referendum as a ray of hope, asserting that the abortion issue could make things easier in her contest against incumbent Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). She told The Hill that the abortion issue makes Scott more “vulnerable.”

Meanwhile, the reaction from the right is not so optimistic. “I’m not suggesting that these ballot measures are enough to doom former President Donald Trump in Florida, but I do have concerns about other Republican candidates who are now once again on defense on this issue,” a Republican wishing to remain anonymous told the Examiner.

This appears to be the prevailing sentiment from the GOP: a step in the wrong direction but not necessarily a fatal flaw. Republicans may be just too far ahead in Florida, and this issue, while helpful in driving Democrats to the polls, is not enough of a Fosbury flop to vault them over the high bar.

So round and round it goes. Florida Democrats might want to quote Napoleon who reportedly intoned, “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Republicans are now in a tenuous position regarding the November election in the Sunshine State. But, who knows, perhaps the clouds will break, and – as is often the case in the tropical state located just 90 miles north of Cuba – the weather will change, and the sun will shine again on Florida Republicans.

Read More From Leesa K. Donner

Latest Posts

Judiciary Committee Holds Free Press Hearing

Former CBS investigative journalist Catherine Herridge was the star at the House Judiciary Committee hearing...

Biden Begins the Spin on the Iran Attack

There is a new metric for a small increment of time. Forget the nanosecond. The new measure is the minuscule unit...

A Political Reckoning Awaits

Why did No Labels fail to find a single candidate willing to stand on a unity platform?...

The Creeping Progressive Power Play

Progressives seem to have taken control of the Democratic Party ship and are in the process of steering it...

Biden Says He May Close the Border – If He Can

President Joe Biden began his presidency trashing former commander-in-chief Donald Trump’s immigration policies....

Latest Posts

Judiciary Committee Holds Free Press Hearing

Former CBS investigative journalist Catherine Herridge was the star at the House Judiciary Committee hearing...

Biden Begins the Spin on the Iran Attack

There is a new metric for a small increment of time. Forget the nanosecond. The new measure is the minuscule unit...

A Political Reckoning Awaits

Why did No Labels fail to find a single candidate willing to stand on a unity platform?...