HILL: How abortion can stop a Republican political tsunami this fall

FILE – A group of anti-abortion protesters pray together in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington, as the court hears arguments in a case from Mississippi, where a 2018 law would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability. As the Supreme Court court weighs the future of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a resurgent anti-abortion movement is looking to press its advantage in state-by-state battles while abortion-rights supporters prepare to play defense. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

If political tsunamis had names, this upcoming midterm election might be called “Biden” by future political historians.  

The gangplank of far-left policies that liberal socialist Democrats AOC, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have forced him to walk have failed miserably. Inflation is roaring hotter than North Carolina summers in August. Gas prices are through the roof. Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine after Biden essentially said a “minor incursion” was ok. There are still thousands of Americans left behind after his botched troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

Biden’s approval/disapproval ratings according to Gallup are a dismal 42/54. Other reputable polls have him in the mid-30s or lower. 

To put those horrible numbers in context, Bill Clinton’s approval ratings sank to 46% vs 46% disapproval right before the 1994 mid-term elections. Republicans picked up 52 House seats and took control of Congress for the first time in forty years. 

President Barack Obama‘s Gallup approval/disapproval ratings fell to 45/47 in November 2010 after he signed Obamacare into law the previous March and the Tea Party exploded. Democrats lost 63 seats in Congress, second only to the historic 81-seat loss by FDR in 1938. 

Biden’s poor political numbers portend a massive Democrat loss of seats in Congress this fall. Any Democrat incumbent who won by 10% or less in the past is vulnerable. If they all lost, Republicans would gain 89 seats in Congress and five in the U.S. Senate. 

But before any Republican pops open the champagne, they need to be reminded that Republicans have a rich history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in the past. Especially when it comes to Republican male candidates talking about women’s reproductive rights which will come into play this summer.  The Supreme Court is scheduled to issue their ruling on the Dobbs case from Texas which could overturn the 1973 Roe vs Wade Supreme Court ruling and revert future decisions on abortion back to the state level. 

In 2012, Democrats held a 53-47 majority but most analysts thought Republicans had at least a 60% chance to pick up enough seats to regain majority control of the Senate given the mood of the country and Obama’s low approval ratings. 

The Republican candidate for the Senate in Missouri, Congressman Todd Akin, was way ahead in the polls against Claire McCaskill by 10% before he said in a TV interview that “most legitimate rapes don’t lead to pregnancy”. He proceeded to lose by 16 points, a swing of 26 points.  

Indiana Republican Senate candidate, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock said in his final debate “I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen”. 

Foster Friess, a prominent backer of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, didn’t help any when he said during an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: “On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s such [sic] inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly” which he later cast off as a joke — but it wasn’t funny. 

Older white male Republican candidates making what can be best classified as “clumsy” statements about abortion and rape was a major reason why Republicans suffered a net loss of two seats to remain in the minority instead of taking control of the Senate in 2012. 

It can happen again this year. If the Supreme Court issues a ruling in late June or July that upholds the Texas law and essentially overturns Roe vs. Wade, then pro-choice forces will have every reason to energize their supporters to get out and vote in large numbers. All any single Republican candidate has to do is make a similar clumsy statement about abortion or rape and the possible Republican tsunami of 2022 will be reduced to a mere ripple in the kiddie pool. 

Democrat strategists are praying that Donald Trump will announce his candidacy for the White House before the fall elections so they can make him their boogeyman again. They need something to make voters ignore their abysmal policy failures since January 20, 2021.  If Trump makes a similar clumsy statement about abortion, rape and aspirin after the Dobbs case decision, then all Democrat prayers will be answered this fall.