Posted On October 4, 2022

Democratic super PACs and campaigns have dropped almost $18 million on abortion-related ads, tripling what they spent on the issue throughout the entire 2018 general election, according to Politico.

Democrats view abortion as a winning issue for their party and are bombarding voters with TV ads on the issue, according to Politico. However, the majority of voters favor abortion restrictions that are opposed by most Democrats, and abortion is consistently ranked as a low-priority issue by most voters, according to numerous polls.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade June 24, ending a precedent that blocked most abortion restrictions throughout the first six months of pregnancy, meaning that lawmakers can determine abortion policy at the state and national levels for the first time in nearly 50 years. Democrats have seized on this as an opportunity to portray Republicans as anti-abortion extremists, highlighting state-level policies restricting abortion as well as a proposed 15-week abortion limit.

Abortion is the most important issue for only 5% of voters, according to a July poll from Monmouth University, while 63% said inflation-related issues were their top priority. Only 8% of respondents said abortion was the most important issue to them in a separate Cygal poll in July.

Voters who support abortion are less likely to vote in the November elections than those who think abortion should be illegal, another poll found.

Abortion is the most popular topic in Democrats’ messaging, appearing in more than a third of their ads, according to Politico. Abortion-related ads are flooding dozens of competitive districts, including rural areas like south Texas and California’s Central Valley.

However, polls have consistently shown that most voters are opposed to elective abortions except in the early months of pregnancy. A combined 62% of registered voters, including 48% of Democrats, believed abortion should only be allowed up to 15 weeks or earlier, the WPA Intelligence poll found, in line with many Republican laws and proposals.

Some Democrats have raised concerns about focusing so heavily on abortion while Republicans focus on economic issues: Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar told Politico that abortion isn’t the most important issue to many voters, especially in heavily Catholic and socially conservative districts like his.

“I’ve cautioned my team about not going all in on it, like we don’t talk about anything else,” one anonymous Democratic incumbent told Politico, adding that the heavy abortion messaging could be viewed as a distraction from voters’ inflation woes.

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