Will Republicans Get a Pass on Overturning Roe Because It Happened Four Months Ago?

Polls are swinging back in the GOP's favor ahead of midterms, because many people can't sustain being mad about anything for this long.

Will Republicans Get a Pass on Overturning Roe Because It Happened Four Months Ago?
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The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade four months ago today, unleashing a wave of horror stories about what happens to people when states ban abortion. For a few brief weeks this summer, it seemed like Democrats could ride a wave of fury to defy history and maintain control of the House and Senate in a midterm election year, which historically favors the party not currently in the White House. Republicans were the party of abortion bans, tax cuts for the wealthy, and the insurrection, and they had some major “candidate quality” issues—that is, absolute wingnuts like Mehmet Oz and Herschel Walker running for Senate. The choice was (and still should be) extremely clear.

Then gas prices started rising again in the middle of September, inflation hasn’t gotten any better, and Republicans are hammering Democrats on crime and immigration. And now we are here, with Republicans retaking the lead in the generic ballot for the first time since early August:

Keeping control of the House was always going to be harder than the Senate because of gerrymandered districts, but even the prospects of maintaining the Senate have dimmed, too: “The Senate started out as a toss-up when we launched our forecast in June—and after a summer in which political developments mostly played to Democrats’ favor, there is now clear movement back toward Republicans. The FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast gives Democrats a 58 percent chance of keeping control of the Senate, down from a peak of 71 percent last month.” As of today, their chances are down to 55 percent, which is effectively a toss-up.

This shit should not be close. Especially not since Oz and Walker have had headline-dominating scandals involving Hitler’s car and paying for abortions, respectively. (Walker also allegedly held a gun to his ex-wife’s head and flashed a fake police badge during a debate.)

With polling shifting toward them, Republicans can smell blood in the water. In the final weeks of the campaign, they’re not only sticking with their flawed candidates—they’re openly talking about tax cuts for the wealthy and forcing a government shutdown to slash Social Security and Medicare.

Polls are flawed, and they’re also a snapshot in time, not a prediction—and these recent ones don’t mean it’s over for Democrats, as even the editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight said recent polls were more of a “mixed bag” than a disaster.

But it definitely seems like if the midterms were held in August or September—or if the court overturned Roe in August, not June—Democrats would’ve had a better chance of keeping power than they do now. We live in a world where Republicans may be about to seize back control of Congress because a political earthquake—the first time the Supreme Court ever revoked constitutional right, and a popular one that Americans had held and valued for 50 years—happened too long ago for people to care.

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