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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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‘What My Opponent Says Are Important’

In her run against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) has let her extremism on the issues really come out. This consistently been on abortion, which she has revealed as her most important issue, even when it comes to dismissing key issues like inflation. Audio obtained by Townhall reveals that Demings is doubling down on the issue, in this instance during a Hillsborough County Young Democrats Happy Hour last week.

“We can talk about a woman’s right to choose,” she told the crowd. “Let me stay here for a minute, let me just linger right here. When we think about the headlines of today, you know, we hear about inflation, and yeah, we need to work to bring the costs down, right? We hear about the prices of gas. Yeah, we need to work to bring the price of gas down. Thank God it’s been going down for the last two months. We need to still get it down some more. We need to care about price gouging and market manipulation and all of those things. All those things are important,” she said referring to what voters do consistently say are the top issues and their top concerns. 

Deming made particularly telling remarks, though, when it comes to why it is that she acknowledges voters care about inflation and gas prices. “Because that’s what my opponent says are important. Well, tell me, how does he have time to support taking away a woman’s right to choose and a woman’s right to privacy,” she then continued by saying.

These remarks come after Demings spoke at a virtual event hosted by the Florida Democratic Party Jewish Caucus, where she said “let’s kind of tuck this away over here” when it comes to “what we’re seeing with inflation, what we’re seeing with the price of goods and services, gas at the pumps–of course, people are feeling that every day.” 

“What I see, this former police chief, as the biggest threat facing our nation right now is the threat to constitutional rights. And along with that comes this effort to divide us, not to unite us, when we see, for example, Roe v. Wade that passed 49 years ago, and then see the efforts – effortlessly – to just overturn that ruling, to take away a woman’s constitutional right to choose, constitutional right to privacy,” she went on to say. 

Demings recently told CBS Miami that she believes in abortion up until viability, but would not commit as to if that’s a 24 week mark. The pro-abortion Democrat went with the oft-repeated and tiring talking point, that “women should have the opportunity to counsel with their doctors,” and that “a doctor can tell us all what the point of viability is,” rather than point to a legal standard for abortion limits. 

As Ronn Blitzer highlighted for Fox News, Sen. Rubio criticized Demings’ position last Thursday while he was at a gathering of faith leaders in Davie, Florida. “My opponent will not tell you which abortions should be illegal,” he said. “The reason why she can’t is you can’t have 100% from Planned Parenthood and 100% from NARAL and not believe in abortion on demand, taxpayer-funded, at any point in a pregnancy. At any point.”

It’s worth pointing out that Rep. Demings voted in favor of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would actually expand Roe v. Wade but allowing for abortions up until birth and invalidating pro-life protections passed at the state level. 

When it comes to the importance of economic issues such as inflation and gas prices, Sen. Rubio is hardly the only one taking notice, including in Florida.

During an WFSU public media interview from June, political scientist Susan MacManus acknowledged that “gun violence, abortion, LGBTQ plus” issues would influence the midterms, but questioned by how much, and who cared about them. 

“But when you have economic issues that are in everybody’s face every single day when they buy groceries when they pump gas when they have to pay the rent, or their credit card and you know, interest rates go up, right, any of those things,” she went on to point out. “Those issues tend to dominate. And it doesn’t appear that there’s a high likelihood that those economic issues are going to dissipate significantly by the time that people start voting early for the November election.” 

A University of South Florida survey from July, surveying 600 Floridians, found that 35 percent of respondents said jobs and the economy. 

This is similar on a national level, as well. 

Each FiveThirtyEight release on what issues matter to Americans, inflation has come in as the top issue, even and including in the most immediate survey after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade with its Dobbs v. Jackson decision. A Reuters/Ipsos poll also highlighted economic concerns as a top issue that voters care about, while it also pointed out abortion was a top issue for just one in 10 Democrats. A CBS News Battleground Tracker/YouGov poll found that 81 percent of respondents considered the economy to be a “very important” issue, with 76 percent saying the same thing about inflation, while just 59 said so about abortion.

Further, Demings’ dismissal of the importance of the issue doesn’t speak too well to the concern she may have for voters who have different priorities and/or positions than she does.

Taking a pro-abortion at the expense of dismissing other issues is nothing new for Rep. Demings. In light of leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision in May, which was ultimately handed down in June, Demings doubled down on dismissing any concerns about the leak in an interview with WJXT Jacksonville

The race is considered to favor Rubio, in that it’s regarded as “Lean Republican” or “Likely Republican.” Last month, a poll done by the Center Street PAC, found Rubio leading with likely Florida voters by 52 percent to Demings’ 41 percent support.

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