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The Supreme Court puts the GOP’s abortion dilemma back in the spotlight: From the Politics Desk

By 37ci3 Mar27,2024

Welcome to the online version of From the policy deskevening bulletin that brings you the latest reporting and analysis from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill from the NBC News Politics team.

In today’s edition, senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur describes how the Supreme Court case over the abortion pill is making it harder for Republicans to turn the page on the issue. Plus, national political reporter Steve Kornacki breaks down Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s general election poll numbers.

The Supreme Court puts the GOP’s abortion dilemma back into focus

By Sahil Kapoor

National Republican operatives want to turn the page on the abortion debate in 2024, seeing it as a political defeat. But reality keeps intruding.

The latest flare-up came on Tuesday The Supreme Court heard oral arguments A case filed by the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom challenged the FDA’s decision to allow the abortion pill mifepristone to be widely used.

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Justices he looked skeptical In 2022, the five Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices in Roe v. After overturning Wade’s case, it politically sparked another battle in the ongoing war over abortion access in the United States. This was decided by the Supreme Court of Alabama threatened entry the long-running debate over in vitro fertilization and federal abortion restrictions.

President Joe Biden is speaking North Carolina On Tuesday, he pointed to the job as the reason why voters elected him and other Democrats this fall.

“Just this morning, the Supreme Court took up a case to ensure access to drugs that were approved by the FDA 20 years ago to give women a choice,” Biden said. “People, if America sends me a Democratic Congress, I promise you, Kamala [Harris] and I see Roe v. I will reinstate Wade as the law of the land.”

Other Democrats pointed out the Republican majority in the House of Representatives he was trying to move forward The government’s funding package contains many anti-abortion provisions, including restrictions on mifepristone. They have been blocked by Democrats who control the Senate.

Donald Trump and most Republicans have been silent on the Supreme Court’s mifepristone arguments. But anti-abortion grassroots leaders sided with the plaintiffs and called for justice to limit access to the pill.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie “Today, I was proud to stand with doctors who bravely shared the stories of women harmed by abortion drugs and who care for women, unlike the abortion industry, which leaves women alone to suffer,” Dannenfelser said in a statement. “They all know firsthand the true cost of FDA carelessness. Together we stand up to say #Women’sHealthMatters and the FDA needs to do its job. We call on the Supreme Court to provide guarantees for women and girls.”

It’s an example of the dilemma facing the GOP, which is stuck between a passionate base of voters who want to restrict abortion and a majority of the country that wants it largely legal.

RFK Jr. Will it hurt Biden or Trump more? Surveys paint a foggy picture.

Analysis by Steve Kornacki

Robert F. Kennedy Jr choice of attorney Nicole Shanahan because his candidacy will allow an independent presidential candidate to accelerate his candidacy Efforts to get on the ballot in all 50 states — and makes him look even bigger as a wild card in the general election.

Democrats, in particular, are sounding the alarm that he could garner enough votes from Biden to clear the way for Trump to return to the White House. Current poll numbers, however, indicate uncertainty about Kennedy’s influence.

Our latest national NBC News survey Since January, the general attitude towards Kennedy has been measured. In general, 28% of voters viewed him positively, 27% negatively, and the rest said they had no strong feelings. But there was a serious partisan division:

Based on these numbers, one could argue that Kennedy has deeper potential support among Republicans than among Democrats — making him more of a threat to Trump than to Biden. Still, this relatively high level of goodwill toward Kennedy among Republicans may simply reflect a reaction to public attacks on the independent candidate from large Democratic votes, making him a sympathetic figure to Trump-loyal GOP voters.

Complicating matters further is the fact that there aren’t many recent national polls testing both a two-way race between Biden and Trump and a three-way race with Kennedy. But some battleground state polls have had mixed results. For example, three polls in Michigan over the past few weeks all show a distinct Kennedy effect:

As you can see, in a query (Quinnipiac), Trump’s advantage increases slightly when Kennedy is included. in another (CNN), Trump’s lead narrows slightly. And in the third (Bloomberg/Morning Consult), there is no change. One caveat: Another independent candidate, Cornel West, was included in these polls as an option along with Kennedy, making it impossible to accurately measure any Kennedy-specific effect. But Western support is only in the low single digits.

However, both the Biden and Trump campaigns would probably be right to be concerned about Kennedy’s candidacy. In 2020, Biden won Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin by a total of 42,918 votes, each by a fraction of a point. If Trump were to fulfill them, he would force a tie that the Electoral College could break in his favor.

In other words, even a very small Kennedy effect one way or the other could be decisive in the states that will swing this election.

Read more about Alex Seitz-Wald on Kennedy’s new candidate →

🗞️ The best stories of the day

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  • 👠 Tar Heel status reversal: Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited North Carolina, a state where Democrats are hoping to carry their first presidential bid since 2008. More →
  • 🤫 Quiet time: The judge presiding over the hush money case in New York issued a partial gag order against Trump, barring the former president from talking about witnesses and court staff in the case. More →
  • 📈 Stocks and bonds: Trump’s social media company got off to a flying start in its stock market debut, rising more than 50% in the first minutes of trading. The stock was ticked toward the close of trade, up about 16%. More →
  • ❓Haley voters are ready for the race: The New York Times reports how Haley’s voters are evaluating their choices in the general election, noting that Trump has not mentioned his former opponent since ending his bid for the presidency. More →
  • 🔎 Election worker threats: The Justice Department has charged 20 people with threatening election workers and is investigating dozens more. More →
  • 🤣 “Is there literally anyone else” for the President?: Raw Story reports that a Texas man changed his name to “Literally Someone Else” and filed a presidential campaign committee petition with the Federal Election Commission to give voters an alternative to Biden and Trump. More →

For now, that’s it from The Politics Desk. If you have feedback – like it or not – send us an email

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