At least there’s one left-of-center publication that can parse what’s going on with voter registration trends. Politico has a more level-headed take on the surge in new voters that have come onto the scene after the Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade. Liberals are banking that an abortion monster will arise from the depths to ruin the Republicans’ 2022 midterm election chances. With a lack of legislative achievements, high inflation, and an economic recession forming the albatross around the Democrats’ neck—abortion is their Hail Mary throw at salvation. Joe Biden’s approval numbers remaining in the low 40s-to-high 30s also doesn’t bode well for the party.
The abortion hope is multi-faceted and loaded with nuance. Political geography plays a part and doesn’t boost Democratic chances overall. If hordes of new voters come from coastal areas, cities, and other locations where Democratic Party power is heavily concentrated, the net gain is negligible. Nothing is shocking about more pro-abortion voters registering to vote in a hardcore pro-abortion state like New York.
The publication also highlighted a crucial point: even with a surge in new voters that are supposedly breaking for Democrats, they’re still in a hole as Republicans have dominated the voter registration drives since the 2020 election. New Republican voters and former Democrats have given the GOP the edge for 18 months. The flip side to that is that not all these new registrants are going to vote on Election Day. It is why get-out-the-vote operations are more valuable (via Politico):
Democrats have been on a voter registration tear since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. There’s just one problem for them — they are digging out from under major Republican gains in the previous 18 months.
For most of the two years leading up to the midterm election, Republicans rather than Democrats were making voter registration gains in key states, a POLITICO analysis of state voter data shows — a signal of GOP momentum heading into a classic backlash election against Democratic control of Washington.
…those gains have not fully offset a GOP advantage built earlier in the election cycle, largely due to party-switching that narrowed Democrats’ overall registration advantage in Pennsylvania from 685,000 voters in November 2020 to 540,000 now. Altogether, the new voter data points to a midterm landscape that has shifted toward Democrats compared to earlier this year — but remains uncertain with just weeks to go until the midterms.
Not all people who registered this year will ultimately cast ballots. Even in states where young registrants have surged, voters who signed up in the past year are still expected to make up a small share of the overall electorate in November.
This article is a stark comparison to The New Republic’s hyperbolic piece that claimed an army of “normal Americans” will wreck the GOP’s 2022 chances, citing Dobbs’ impact on voter registrations. It was pure bravado which was light on facts. Taxpayer-funded abortion up until the moment of birth—the evolving consensus among liberal voters—is not popular. Then again, neither is an outright abortion ban. The consensus is that abortion will probably be legal, determined by state legislatures, not taxpayer-funded, and prohibits partial-birth terminations. Legal but heavily restricted is perhaps going to be the end game, which to liberals might as well be an outright ban since they can’t kill babies at will whose bill is footed by the government.