Robert Reich explains why abortion battle and gun control may be a driving force for Democratic voters

Robert Reich explains why abortion battle and gun control may be a driving force for Democratic voters
Former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich/Screengrab

As primary elections take place across the country, there are concerns about Democratic lawmakers' ability to maintain control of both chambers of government. However, Robert Reich believes there are two issues that may give Democratic voters a real reason to take the midterm election more seriously: abortion rights and gun control.

In a new op-ed for The Guardian, Reich, the former U.S. Secretary of Labor, explained why he believes abortion and gun control may give Democrats more than enough incentive to head to the polls.

"The American people are not evenly divided on these issues. A large majority wants to maintain access to abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, which has been the rule since the supreme court decided Roe v Wade in 1973," Reich explained.

In regard to gun control, he wrote, "An even larger majority (including many Republican voters) support requiring universal background checks for would-be gun buyers, and most favor banning high-capacity magazines and the sale of assault weapons."

While he did acknowledge that many pundits project Democrats losing both chambers of government in the upcoming midterm elections, Reich noted one detail that many have not considered.

"Most pundits are convinced that the Democrats are doomed to lose the House and Senate in the upcoming midterms. They point to the fact that after 15 months in office, Biden is polling badly, at about 40%," Reich wrote.

"But the punditocracy is ignoring the disconnect between what most Americans want on abortion and guns and what Republican lawmakers are doing," he wrote. "The two issues of abortion and guns may have a larger impact on Americans together than they have had separately because of the moral relationship between them – being free to decide whether and when to have children and keeping children safe from gun violence."

Offering a comparison of the grim outlook former President Ronald Reagan faced ahead of re-election, Reich added, "The pundits also forget that at the same point in his presidency, Ronald Reagan was polling at about 40%. But as inflation declined, Reagan ran for re-election against Walter Mondale and won 49 states."


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