Focus: US mid-term elections, “red wave” hindered the issue of abortion and the presence of Trump | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For Georgia’s Nielsens, economic fears were not the deciding factor in voting behavior in mid-term elections. Rather, he stressed the protection of the right to abortion and the prevention of the election of a candidate who would have given impetus to former President Trump.

“If some people wanted me to vote Republican, that’s fine,” said Matthew, 33, outside a polling station. You shouldn’t be talking about Trump, “he said.

So far the couple have voted for Democrats and Republicans depending on the situation.

The way voters like them reached an unexpected number and prevented the so-called “red wave” that the opposition Republican Party was hoping for.

In fact, looking at the situation that was revealed by the 9, only “ripples” can be seen at best.

Republicans have secured a majority in the House, as long as expected, but the gap with the Democrats is smaller than expected. It is unclear who will win the Senate and it could ultimately be decided in a Georgia ballot in December.

Mr. Biden’s approval ratings plummeted and the public was angry at rising food and gas prices. That is why Republicans were so confident they could get a majority in both houses of Congress. But exit polls, experts and voter interviews show that while inflation was the main concern, the right to abortion attracted a lot of attention.

It came as a surprise to Democratic strategists and pollsters who expected inflation fears to overwhelm all other issues.

Democratic strategists were urging party headquarters to make the campaign more inflation-focused and even in the White House there was too much emphasis on abortion in the final stages of the campaign and not enough appeal for inflation control. saying he wasn’t.

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In fact, several national polls showed that voters were particularly concerned about inflation. But voters also told Reuters they were also concerned that Republicans continue to embrace Trump, who they suggested he would be the next president.

Edison Research exit polls show that 58% of voters dislike Trump, compared to 39% who are in his favor.

For the Nielsens, who live in Georgia, the economy was not the deciding factor in their voting behavior in the mid-term elections. Rather, he emphasized the protection of the right to abortion and the prevention of the election of a candidate who would encourage former President Trump (pictured). FILE PHOTO: Palm Beach, Florida, November 8, 2022. REUTERS / Ricardo Arduengo

After the US Supreme Court decided in June to overturn the long-standing constitutionality of abortion, Democrats have risen. A large number of new voters arose, and a movement also spread to encourage independents to support Democratic candidates.

Jared Leopold, a Democratic politician in the Senate and at the state level, said: “Mid-term elections are usually marked by unpopular votes, so the ruling party of the incumbent president loses. But the abortion issue makes this picture. it’s broken, “he points out. out.

According to Edison Research exit polls, independents, who tended to move away from the ruling party in midterm elections, now favor Democrats at 49%, compared to Republicans at 47%. Women lead this trend.

Inflation was the most important issue among voters overall, at 31%, followed by abortion at 27%. For women alone, the abortion rate is 5 percentage points higher than inflation.

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53% of women voters vote Democratic and 45% Republican. While that gap is smaller than the 15-point gap between Biden and Trump in the 2020 presidential election, it at least helped prevent a crushing defeat for the Democratic Party.

Tom Bonia, chief executive of TargetSmart, a democratic analytics firm, said new voters registered after the Supreme Court decision on abortion rights in June outnumbered women than men in 46 of the 50 states.

The abortion issue also has a strong impact at the state level. In Michigan, a constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion rights was passed by a majority and Democratic Governor Whitmer won re-election after pledging to stand firm in advocating abortion rights.

Heather Miller, 52, a teacher in Detroit, voted at the last minute for a referendum on the issue of abortion rather than a national election. “That’s why I came here. I really wanted it to pass,” she said.

In Kentucky, a referendum rejected a proposal to remove the right to abortion from the state constitution.

The right to abortion has also gained consensus across party lines. Sidney Wright, 18, a student at the University of Nevada, calls himself a Conservative, but this time he voted for the Democratic candidate because of the abortion issue. “I’m going to put more emphasis on social issues in this election,” he said, adding that she disliked Trump’s stance on abortion and belligerent behavior, so she hoped Republicans wouldn’t nominate him for the 2024 presidential nomination.

Like Wright, Niasha Riley, 37, a Republican registered voter in Phoenix, Arizona, turned to Democrats in mid-term over the abortion issue and Trump’s presence. Trump approved the state’s Republican candidate.

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Riley said she felt the Republican Party was swinging in a radical direction, which was a factor in her vote.

Democratic candidate John Fetterman’s victory over Republican Mehmet Oz in the race for the Pennsylvania senator will be a bitter lesson for Republicans, state party officials said.

“One of the things we have learned is that Trump-backed candidates have a harder time winning in a highly contested state like Pennsylvania,” the official said, adding that the state will not win the legislative election. it was a sign that voters were disgusted with Trump.

(James Oliphant reporter)

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