Interest in abortion waning, Vice President Harris seeks to rally Democrats

By Dave Andrusko

The headline succinctly told the story in 13 words: “Kamala Harris Seeks to Rally Voters on Abortion as Polls Show Interest Waning.” 

Tarini Parti’s story for The Wall Street Journal was interesting and informative for many reasons.

The Vice President is the administration’s point man on the abortion issue. To those, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, who “say the party has lost ground because it hasn’t focused enough on the economy, which they say is top of mind for most voters,” Harris’s less that sterling explanation is Democrats “can walk and chew gum at the same time” by talking to voters about both abortion and the economy,” Parti reports. 

Harris took a whack at combining abortion and the economy by channeling Stacey Abrams, running for governor in Georgia, when she said abortion is an economic issue to many women. For her part, Abrams told MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “You can’t divorce being forced to carry out an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child.”

This prompted National Review writer Dan McLaughlin to remark, “I didn’t really expect Democrats to go with ‘you know, it’s cheaper to feed your family if you kill a few of them’ as a closing argument, yet here we are.”

Ms. Harris’s belated attempt to link the economy and abortion “come as Democrats grow concerned that rising inflation and gas prices are overshadowing abortion as a priority for many voters,” according to Parti.  “Wall Street Journal poll conducted about two weeks before Election Day suggests that abortion rights are less important in voting decisions than voters indicated in the summer, after the Supreme Court’s decision in June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the constitutional right to an abortion and returned the issue to states to decide.”

President Biden has promised—if Democrats hold both Houses of Congress—to make signing a bill “codifying Roe” his first priority.

The Supreme Court “got Roe right 50 years ago, and the Congress should codify the protections of Roe and do it once and for all,” Biden said. “But right now, we’re short a handful of votes. The only way it’s going to happen is if the American people make it happen.”

One of her stop was in Minnesota where she campaigned for state Democrats.

“It matters who represents the people of the state and is responsible for doing justice on behalf of those people when it comes to an issue like this,” the vice president said, according to Parti. “Her appearance was welcomed by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is running a close race against Republican candidate Jim Schultz. Mr. Ellison has made abortion rights a centerpiece of his bid for re-election.” The latest poll shows Schultz up by 6 points.

“Minnesotans know that the twin themes of Ellison’s office have been extremism and incompetence, and the vice president visiting Minnesota won’t change their view,” he said.