Republicans are facing a significant backlash from women voters after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning abortion rights, Politico reports.
Some Republicans ahead of the midterm elections have softened or completely scrapped extreme anti-abortion positions from their campaign materials.
Some male candidates have sought to appeal to skeptical women voters by putting their wives out front in campaign ads.
But polling shows that the GOP’s struggle to attract women voters could be their biggest obstacle in November.
A Wall Street Journal poll last week found that abortion is the single biggest driver for voters, even above inflation.
While the GOP has tried to make the campaign about the economy, polls have significantly shifted toward the Democrats after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling.
The trend has been particularly stark among white suburban women, 52% of whom now plan to back Democrats in November compared to just 40% who plan to vote Republican.
“I’m convinced that, based on numbers we have, Republicans have to make some kind of leap on the abortion issue,” Chuck Coughlin, an Arizona-based GOP strategist, told Politico. “Because they’re getting killed among women.”
Crushed by women:
Polls already show Republicans struggling in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and close races in Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio.
Arizona GOP candidate Blake Masters leads by eight points among men but trails badly because he’s losing by 22 points among women.
But National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott downplayed the trend.
“I think it’s important that, you know, we’re compassionate about the issue. It’s a tough issue for women,” Scott told Politico. “And we have to understand that we want to have reasonable restrictions, reasonable exceptions. And we ought to talk about where the Democrats are.”