'Make him own this': Florida’s 'atrocious' abortion ban could derail DeSantis’ presidential hopes
When the Florida State Legislature passed a six-week abortion ban on Thursday, April 13, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis wasted no time signing it into law. Florida already had a 15-week abortion ban that went into effect in 2022, but far-right white evangelical Christian fundamentalists complained that the 2022 law didn't go far enough. And in 2023, Republicans in the Florida State Legislature came up with a bill that was even more draconian.
Because most women who become pregnant don't find out until after six weeks, the new Florida law is, in effect, a total abortion ban. And pro-choice Democrats have been quick to attack the law.
Although DeSantis has yet to make a formal announcement, he appears to be gearing up for a 2024 presidential run. Politico reporters Sally Goldenberg and Alice Miranda Ollstein, in an article published on April 13, emphasize that Democrats believe the six-week abortion ban will be politically "toxic" for DeSantis if he runs for president and becomes the GOP's 2024 nominee.
A Democratic strategist, interviewed on condition of anonymity, told Politico, "We're going to make him own this, and his agenda, everywhere he goes. Goes to Michigan? Abortion ban. Goes to Ohio next week? Abortion ban. And that will take different forms, but we'll hang this incredibly toxic abortion ban and his agenda around his neck with different tactics."
If DeSantis does seek the 2024 GOP presidential nominee, he will up against an ex-ally turned adversary: former President Donald Trump. The Lincoln Project's Rick Wilson, a former Republican strategist and Never Trump conservative, is far from bullish on DeSantis as a presidential candidate. Wilson has predicted that when all is said and done, the GOP will "bend the knee" to Trump and give him the 2024 nomination. And the ex-Republican believes that Trump's legal problems will doom DeSantis' presidential hopes for next year, as the GOP's Trumpified MAGA base will rally around the former president.
Ryan Stitzlein, senior national political director for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), plans to go after DeSantis with a vengeance.
Stitzlein told Politico, "This bill is atrocious. This issue may ignite a small part of their primary base, but it's deeply unpopular with voters in this country.… We're activating our more than 4 million members across the country. They'll be making calls, writing, knocking on doors."
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade with its 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the abortion issue became increasingly problematic for MAGA Republicans in key swing states. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, both pro-choice Democrats, aggressively campaigned on abortion rights in 2022 and enjoyed double-digit victories. And on Tuesday, April 4, liberal pro-choice Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz defeated far-right MAGA Republican Dan Kelly by 11 percent in a race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Protasiewicz hammered Kelly relentlessly for his anti-choice views, and that messaging helped bring her a double-digit win in a state that Trump won in 2016 but lost to now-President Joe Biden in 2020. That race was technically nonpartisan, but Protasiewicz raised a ton of campaign money from pro-choice Democratic donors.
Read Politico’s full report at this link.
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