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Washington Watch: Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade would boost Democratic turnout for midterm elections, analysts say

As analysts in Washington react to the news that the Supreme Court looks poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, they say this November’s midterm elections are getting shaken up by the development.

Republicans had been widely expected to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the elections, and the GOP had been getting good odds for taking back the U.S. Senate, too.

But the expectations now are that Democrats could fare better than had been anticipated, as their base appears likely to be energized if the high court in fact overrules the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

“This is already altering messaging & mobilization for the Democratic base,” said Chris Krueger, a strategist and managing director at Cowen Washington Research Group, in a note on Tuesday. He also emphasized the Supreme Court’s draft decision that has been leaked is “not final (we had expected it to be the final decision in late June).”

See: Leaked draft decision shows Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, Politico reports

The Roe v. Wade news is “setting the stage for an epic controversy that could scramble the November elections. Democrats had been bracing for steep House losses this fall, but suddenly they have an issue that could energize their base,” said Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments.

Betting market PredictIt on Tuesday is giving an 86% chance that Republicans take back the House, down from a high of 91% on Saturday, along with 74% odds for seizing control of the Senate, down from a high of 79% on Saturday.

Monday night’s development is a “modest positive for Democrats” in the midterms, but it’s still likely that control of the House will flip this fall to the GOP, said Isaac Boltansky, BTIG’s director of policy research.

Democrats have been quick to issue statements following the news, which came late Monday.

“If the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” President Joe Biden said.

“And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November. At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”

“If this report is true, this Republican attack on abortion access, birth control and women’s health care has dramatically escalated the stakes of the 2022 election,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Christie Roberts said. “At this critical moment, we must protect and expand Democrats’ Senate majority with the power to confirm or reject Supreme Court justices.”

Meanwhile, a Democratic pollster, Celinda Lake tweeted: “This will motivate voters and alienate swing women. Mark my words, these voters will react in the 2022 election.”

Some Democratic lawmakers on Monday night called for the codification of the right to abortion into federal law, though such pushes have not succeeded, with an effort in February getting 48 votes in the Senate.

“Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who usually votes with Democrats. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.

Related: Schumer says he’ll hold vote on codifying the right to an abortion

Among the reactions from Republicans, Mehmet Oz — the heart surgeon and former TV host running in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary — offered support for the Supreme Court’s conservative majority.

“The Court is right. Roe was wrongly decided,” Oz said in a statement. “Abortion laws should be left up to the American people and their elected representatives. I look forward to supporting pro-life legislation that saves innocent lives in the U.S. Senate.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the leak of the draft decision.

“Somebody — likely somebody inside the court itself — leaked a confidential internal draft to the press almost certainly in an effort to stir up an inappropriate pressure campaign to sway an outcome,” the Kentucky Republican said in a floor speech. “The radical left immediately rallied around the toxic stunt.”

McConnell also said: “Liberals want to rip the blindfold off Lady Justice. They want to override impartiality with intimidation.”

Now read: ‘Severe struggle’ over federal debt limit and moves to impeach Biden: What could happen in a Republican Congress

U.S. stocks


gained Tuesday, a day before the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by a half-point.

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