At least nine Republican congressional candidates have scrubbed or altered references to abortion and former President Donald Trump ahead of the fall midterm elections, The Washington Post reports.
Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters’ campaign dropped his call for a federal “personhood law” from his site and no longer opens by calling Masters “100% pro-life.”
Instead, the site now calls for a national ban on third-trimester abortions.
Masters spokesman Zachery Henry told the Post that the site “was updated post-primary to draw a sharp contrast with Mark Kelly’s radical left-wing views on a number of issues, including Kelly’s support for extreme no-limits abortion policies.”
The changes come as poll show a significant voter backlash to the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“The Dobbs decision has clearly energized Democratic voters to the point where they have closed the enthusiasm gap with Republicans,” longtime GOP pollster Whit Ayres told the Post. “The best case for Republican candidates in the midterms is making the upcoming election a referendum on the Biden administration… Anything that distracts from that focus weakens the Republican position.”
Colorado state Rep. Barbara Kirkmeyer, who is running for a House seat, also dropped language promoting the “sanctity of life” from her website.
In fact, her website no longer mentions abortion at all.
“Our campaign recently completed a complete redesign of Barb’s website. Instead of addressing many issues (abortion among them), we are focused on the three issues in which voters express the most interest,” campaign consultant Alan Philp told the Post.
It’s not just abortion. Some Republicans are also trying to distance from Trump.
Yesli Vega, a Republican running for a Virginia House seat against Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, recently removed a part of her Twitter bio that listed her as a “Trump appointee,” referring to her position on the President’s Advisory Commission on Hispanic Prosperity.
The mention was dropped after Vega won the Republican nomination.
“It doesn’t matter how fast Republicans run to erase their toxic, unpopular, and dangerous positions — Democrats will make sure voters know exactly the threat that Republicans pose to our freedoms,” Helen Kalla, spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Post.