Overturning Roe v. Wade could help Democrats in midterms

David Pakman
Liberal Opinion

David Pakman

Host of The David Pakman Show
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The midterm elections are less than six months away, and advance polling shows that President Biden’s declining public approval numbers are at the lowest point of his presidency. A major factor is the faltering U.S. economy, with two-thirds of the nation disapproving of Biden’s leadership.

History is not on the side of Democrats heading into the midterms. Since 1946, the president’s party has lost seats in the House in all but two midterm elections since World War II. Economic woes such as potential stagflation only darken the party’s prospects.

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman explains the recent leak from the Supreme Court of a majority draft opinion written by Justice Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade could actually benefit Democrats and help them buck election history:

But now there’s a question of: What else? It’s not feeling as though for many middle-class Americans, Joe Biden has done enough. And the ideas have been thrown around of, ‘Well, what about some student loan forgiveness rather than just a pause?’

I think that would help Democrats if Joe Biden did that, but doesn’t seem like he’s going to. What about a federal decriminalization of cannabis? Well, I think it would help Democrats some, but I don’t think he has any interest in doing that. 

So up until recently, I said repeatedly that this is going to be an unmitigated disaster for Democrats in the fall. Expect massive losses in the House, probably expect to lose the Senate. I think the most likely outcome is Republicans take both the House and Senate. Well, what am I getting to? Why, why am I equivocating? One thing has happened recently that may change this. And it is the news, through a Politico report, of a leak from the Supreme Court that the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. KC in their forthcoming Supreme Court decision within the next few weeks.

This could be too early to tell. This could be the exact event that makes a lot of Democrats who were either not going to vote, or maybe didn’t yet know how they were going to vote, say, “This is now a crisis. Now I get it.”

We really are now officially, to the extent that the term officially means anything, in the middle of the 2022 midterm elections. And we are starting to see primaries. We are seeing primaries in gubernatorial races, Senate races, House races…Whatever particular races you’re interested in, follow get involved in, do what you can. 

But let’s do kind of a broader assessment of where we are. Historically we would expect Democrats to do very poorly in November. Why? Well, historically, what tends to happen is when one party takes the White House from the other, in the immediate midterms that follow, you see a reversal in who takes the house and or Senate. In this particular case, Democrats, Joe Biden took the White House from Trump Republicans. And so we would expect historically, that now Republicans would do well in the midterms, taking the House and/or Senate. Now that’s the historical piece.

What are this year’s polls pointing to? They’re pointing to exactly that. And there’s a number of different reasons for this. One, and as someone who, I’m not enamored with Joe Biden, but I think he was undoubtedly the better pick compared to Trump, I think that part of it is Joe Biden hasn’t done nearly enough to convince people that they should vote for more Democrats in November. 

Even though it’s not Biden on the ballot, it is his party on the ballot. Uh, yes, he did. COVID stimulus number three. Yes, he did infrastructure. Yes he got us out of Afghanistan, which I see as a good thing. Some people say, well, it’s bad or it was chaotically done. I think it would’ve been just as chaotic with Trump and Biden did the right thing. It was a quagmire. 

But now there’s a question of what else. It’s not feeling as though for many middle-class Americans, Joe Biden has done enough. And the ideas have been thrown around of, well, what about some student loan forgiveness rather than just a pause?

I think that would help Democrats if Joe Biden did that, but doesn’t seem like he’s going to. What about a federal decriminalization of cannabis? Well, I think it would help Democrats some, but I don’t think he has any interest in doing that. 

So up until recently, I said repeatedly that this is going to be an unmitigated disaster for Democrats in the fall. Expect massive losses in the House, probably expect to lose the Senate. I think the most likely outcome is Republicans take both the House and Senate. Well, what am I getting to? Why, why am I equivocating? One thing has happened recently that may change this. And it is the news, through a Politico report, of a leak from the Supreme Court that the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v KC in their forthcoming Supreme Court decision within the next few weeks.

This could be, too early to tell, this could be the exact event that makes a lot of Democrats who were either not going to vote, or maybe didn’t yet know how they were going to vote, say, “this is now a crisis. Now I get it.”

What David and others, me talking about me have been telling us since 2015-2016, if Trump wins, he’s going to get two to three Supreme Court picks. That Supreme Court will be one of the most right wing in a very long time. States will pass the anti-abortion laws. They will be appealed. They will go to the court. And eventually the Supreme Court might find in one of those cases, yes, we are now overturning Roe v Wade. That’s exactly what happened.

It might be what lights a fire under the behinds of progressives and center-left Democrats and others that say, “We have to stop this and we can’t let it get worse.” Because for sure, if Republicans take control of the House and/or Senate in November, starting in January, we vote in November, it would start in January, this isn’t going to be the end of it. 

And as I said, many times before, many of the people who are against abortion are against interracial marriage, gay marriage. They want it to be legal to fire people for being trans or gay, which is still legal in many states, by the way. They sometimes for religious reasons say they are against divorce and on and on and on. So this will not be the end of what they’re going to try. And the hope would be, if anything can turn around the midterms for Democrats, it would be the realization that we’ve gotta get active right now. 

And this includes importantly as much as at the state level, as it does at the federal level. Not only can we not let Republicans take the House and Senate, which they are poised to do federally, but a lot with Roe v Wade overturned, a lot of the decisions about choice are going to now fall to the states. Before there was this federal backstop. Well, the state can pass whatever they want. If it violates Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court will reject it. That backstop being eliminated will now open the door to states doing almost whatever they want on this issue. And so it’s just as important to vote there, as it is federally. That’s my hope.