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PoliticsAbortion Fight or Strong Economy? For G.O.P., Cultural Issues Undercut 2020 Message

18:00  19 may  2019
18:00  19 may  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

All the states taking up new abortion laws in 2019

All the states taking up new abortion laws in 2019 In 2019, states are taking action to restrict or expand access to abortion amid a national debate over Roe v. Wade.Multiple states such as Kentucky and Georgia have passed bills that ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks of pregnancy, while Alabama recently passed the strictest abortion law in the country, banning the procedure with few exceptions.Several other states are considering "trigger" laws that go into effect to ban abortion should Roe v. Wade be overturned, while other states like New York have passed bills that enshrine abortion rights.

For G . O . P ., Cultural Issues Undercut 2020 Message . Protesters in Missouri decried the passage of new restrictions on abortion rights there on Friday.Credit Yet for all that political upside, Republicans demonstrated repeatedly last week that they were not positioning themselves to wage the 2020

The New York Times: Abortion fight or strong economy ? For GOP , cultural issues undercut 2020 message . Politico: Trump team convinced court overhaul will His position as an Iran hawk is creating issues with lawmakers while the White House sends conflicting messages about Iran (The Hill).

WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, companies are adding jobs and the gross domestic product grew by 3.2 percent in the first quarter, undercutting predictions of a coming recession.

Abortion rights: Why it's hard to gauge Americans' support

Abortion rights: Why it's hard to gauge Americans' support Republican-run state governments are clearly aiming for a Supreme Court showdown over Roe v. Wade. Georgia recently passed a law banning most abortions after six weeks, and Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban. Both efforts are part of more than a dozen such successful and unsuccessful attempts this year. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Not surprisingly, the blowback has been stiff from abortion rights groups and politicians. Some have even called for a boycott of Georgia.

“The global economy is in its worst state in a century. While the Covid-19 pandemic pushed the economy over the cliff, many mishaps had brought it to the He added that while the economy is set to rebound over the next couple of years, “downside risks remain elevated” due to existing trade and

A number of prominent Republicans have endorsed Joe Biden's presidential bid, handing the former vice president potentially useful support as he looks to win over dissatisfied members of the party.

Yet for all that political upside, Republicans demonstrated repeatedly last week that they were not positioning themselves to wage the 2020 election over the strength of the economy.

President Trump and his top advisers sent mixed signals about a possible war with Iran. Mr. Trump outlined a hard-line immigration proposal that had little chance of passing, but refocused attention on the most incendiary issue of his presidency. His drumbeat about tariffs on China sent the stock market gyrating. And in Alabama, the Republican governor signed a bill that would effectively ban abortion, the most recent and far-reaching of new state restrictions and a step toward a possible Supreme Court showdown over abortion rights.

White Women Are Helping States Pass Abortion Restrictions

White Women Are Helping States Pass Abortion Restrictions Their support for Republican officials has been key to the GOP’s strength in the South.

“When we look at moral issues like abortion there’s such as strong correlation between Patriots were more anti- abortion than the average American. Of those who expressed the view that the The survey data confirms the cultural battle lines that have been drawn in the US for 50 years, and have

Protests continued in Poland this week after a court imposed a near-ban on abortion . She said a majority of the Polish public did not favour their MPs' use of judicial means to introduce new restrictions on abortion : "It really does represent the actions of a very small section of society who are playing

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Such divisive and destabilizing stands — driven by Mr. Trump’s political impulses and by emboldened conservatives — could end up alienating swing voters and could help Democrats who might otherwise be on the defensive over the nation’s relative prosperity, politicians and strategists in both parties said. And the longstanding verity that Americans vote with their pocketbooks may be tested in 2020 like never before.

The party’s challenge was crystallized last week in a Quinnipiac survey of voters in Pennsylvania, one of the states that helped Mr. Trump win in 2016. The poll found that 77 percent of voters described their own financial situation as “excellent” or “good” — but that Mr. Trump would lose there by 11 percentage points against Joseph R. Biden Jr., one of the leading Democratic candidates.

Mr. Trump’s low approval ratings, which are at odds with normal ratings for a president in a humming economy, also point to the deep divisions in the country. The president’s erratic conduct and his gut instinct for issues of culture and identity, combined with the leftist energy in the Democratic Party and the chance that the Supreme Court could reconsider Roe v. Wade, will most likely further polarize an electorate that already cleaves along racial, gender and class lines when it comes to Mr. Trump.

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power When the Alabama State Senate passed their controversial bill which would ban most abortions, not one of the four female state senators voted for it. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The fact that there are only four female state senators in the Heart of Dixie comes as little surprise to political observers, as the state ranks among the lowest in terms of female representation in state legislatures.

In a bold, emergency action to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve on Sunday announced it would cut its target interest rate near zero.

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“We’re pulling further apart, not together, and the traditional issues are being eclipsed — because if ‘peace and prosperity’ worked, there would still be a Republican majority in the House,” said Representative Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican, who envisioned “an impending clash out there with the two sides mobilized and demonizing the opposite side.”

It is, Mr. Cole added, “a long way from Ronald Reagan and ‘Morning in America.’”

Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign and congressional Republicans surely will highlight the country’s economic gains should they continue through 2020, of course, and will target Democrats over issues such as taxes and the size of government — particularly if a liberal like Senator Bernie Sanders or Senator Elizabeth Warren emerges as the Democratic nominee.

But both parties have overwhelming incentives to push next year’s election toward issues of the heart, not the head.

For Republicans, the arrival in Washington of liberal women of color such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with some top Democratic presidential candidates running toward the left, has created irresistible political temptations. With new bogeywomen to caricature, and explosive liberal issues like reparations for the descendants of enslaved blacks, voting rights for prisoners and federal benefits for undocumented immigrants, G.O.P. officials have even more fodder for the sort of scorched-earth, and unabashedly racist, campaign that Mr. Trump ran in 2016.

Misinformation around abortion bills causing confusion and fear for patients

Misinformation around abortion bills causing confusion and fear for patients A string of abortion legislation in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia is causing patients confusion and panic over if the procedure is still legal.

These new targets offer fresh material with which Republicans can galvanize their base and try to make the case to moderate voters that, while they may be uneasy with the Trump-era G.O.P., the alternative is left-wing radicalism.

And the president’s fixation with pleasing his own political base is likely to make it difficult for him to expand his support beyond the narrow band of states that delivered his Electoral College victory in 2016 — pushing him further toward a culture clash.

“He has to recreate his coalition without losing anything,” said Michael Steel, a Republican strategist. “That means making the Democratic nominee unacceptable, particularly in Midwestern states with large working-class Catholic communities where accusing Democrats of supporting infanticide is going to be part of the playbook.”

That will also mean Mr. Trump driving a consistent message, which, as he demonstrated late Saturday night, is no guarantee. After remaining silent for days about the Alabama law, which does not allow for abortions even in cases of rape and incest, Mr. Trump noted that he does support those exceptions and warned his party that “If we are foolish and do not stay UNITED as one, all of our hard fought gains for Life can, and will, rapidly disappear!”

Abortion Opponents Think They’re Winning. Have They Set Themselves Up to Fail?

Abortion Opponents Think They’re Winning. Have They Set Themselves Up to Fail? Alabama, Georgia and the fetal personhood trap.

For Democrats, the clear evidence from the 2018 midterms that college-educated suburban voters are more inclined to vote against Mr. Trump’s behavior than in favor of his economic stewardship is nudging them toward making the president’s controversial conduct front and center for voters. Mr. Biden, the former vice president, had found initial success in doing just that, which had nudged other candidates toward making Mr. Trump more central to their strategy.

“It’s a referendum on Trump and with a lot more information than people had in 2016,” said Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster. Such information includes the president’s fidelity to his evangelical base, his appointment of two conservative Supreme Court justices and his barely concealed glee about potentially replacing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a conservative. These steps had already energized many supporters and opponents of abortion rights — and that was before Alabama.

“It’s no longer an intellectual issue, it’s actually real,” said Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood, about the future of abortion rights.

Ms. Richards noted that in the 2018 midterms, women gave more money to candidates than they did in 2016, when the first female nominee for president was on the ballot.

The prospect of Mr. Trump having a third Supreme Court appointment, the determination of conservatives in state capitals to push a challenge to Roe to the Supreme Court and the president’s often-coarse language about women could turbocharge female engagement in 2020.

Hundreds protest Alabama's abortion ban at state capitol

Hundreds protest Alabama's abortion ban at state capitol Hundreds of demonstrators marched to the Alabama Capitol on Sunday to protest the state's newly approved abortion ban, chanting "my body, my choice!" and "vote them out!"The demonstration came days after Gov. Kay Ivey signed the most stringent abortion law in the nation— making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases unless necessary for the mother's health. The law provides no exception for rape and incest. "Banning abortion does not stop abortion. It stops safe abortion," said Staci Fox, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, addressing the cheering crowd outside the Alabama Capitol.

“Some of what worked for Democrats in 2020 could be on steroids because of these current events,” said Jill Alper, a longtime Democratic strategist.

And Mr. Trump is at the center of nearly every current event. In a private memo that was sent to the House Democratic campaign committee this month, Democratic pollsters found an overriding issue with swing voters in a series of six focus groups — only it was no issue at all.

“As we saw in the 2018 cycle, swing voters’ complaints about Trump are dominated by his style and personality, not his agenda or policies,” wrote the pollsters at ALG Research, the Democrat firm of John Anzalone, after speaking with voters across three states. “Most participants express real concern about Trump’s tweeting, name-calling, staff turnover, distortions of the truth, etc. In seeking initial impressions of Trump, even when asking about his ‘agenda’ or ‘priorities,’ virtually no one volunteered the ACA repeal fights or the G.O.P. tax bill.”

This focus on the president’s persona, which he unabashedly stokes, is what gnaws at Republican officials even as they make little effort to curb his impulses.

At a panel for donors to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently in Washington, Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said that if the election was about policy, Republicans would win — but if it was about personalities they might lose, according to two attendees who said it was an unmistakable reference to the president’s behavior.

Democrats, of course, know that voters will be looking for assurances that their candidates will offer more stability.

“Democrats have to be the adults in the room,” said Dan Sena, who ran the successful House Democratic campaign arm last year. “Whether you’re running for the House or you’re Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, that means running on your record of service and establishing yourself as a voice of reason. If you do that successfully, it makes it harder for Republicans to get the too-far-left stuff to stick.”

Busy Philipps counters anti-abortion laws with #YouKnowMe; Lady Gaga, others speak out

Busy Philipps counters anti-abortion laws with #YouKnowMe; Lady Gaga, others speak out Busy Philipps and other celebrities have taken to social media to push back against anti-abortion legislation being considered by many states.

Or as Ms. Greenberg puts it, when asked about her advice for Democrats, “Don’t allow yourself to get trapped by gotcha questions that are clearly designed for clickbait and Republican attacks.”

But that advice may be more easily dispensed than followed at a moment when Democratic candidates are facing immense pressure from progressives, which their advisers see echoed among the disproportionately liberal voices on Twitter.

Indeed, there are differences within the Democratic Party over what positions or remarks represent playing into Mr. Trump’s hands.

When a reporter asked Mr. Biden this month in Los Angeles whether he would support allowing undocumented immigrants access to Medicare and Medicaid, the former vice president evaded the question — he spoke generally about immigration — and a follow-up. It is not difficult to see why: Republicans would surely flay him with attacks if he came out for letting noncitizens enjoy taxpayer-funded benefits.

But after Mr. Biden avoided taking a position and left the restaurant where he had lunch with Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, the mayor argued that Democrats need not to fear being bold on immigration.

While conceding that Republicans would hammer Democrats for providing undocumented residents with federal benefits, Mr. Garcetti noted that the decline of the California Republican Party began after one of its leaders in the 1990s, former Gov. Pete Wilson, supported a ballot measure denying public services to such migrants.

“Look at who runs the state now,” Mr. Garcetti said of the complete dominance of Democrats in California. “I think that is a Pyrrhic victory at best for Republicans. And now it’s a different time even nationally. “

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Busy Philipps counters anti-abortion laws with #YouKnowMe; Lady Gaga, others speak out.
Busy Philipps and other celebrities have taken to social media to push back against anti-abortion legislation being considered by many states.

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