3:51 p.m. ET, November 7, 2023
How suburban Virginia voters could shape the future of America’s abortion debate
From John King of CNN
Nanette Mees is a registered Republican and a classic example of Virginia’s shift from red to blue.
His last Republican vote for president was in 2004, which was also the last time a Republican presidential candidate – George W. Bush at the time – won the Loudoun County suburbs and the commonwealth.
In the twenty years since, Mees has voted twice for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
“I mean, abortion, guns — those are two big things,” Mees said, explaining his choice to vote Democratic in the last four presidential elections.
She is ready to extend this streak to five next November, but not without hesitation.
“I don’t think he’s perfect,” Mees said of Biden. “But if I had to choose between him and (Donald) Trump, who I would never, ever vote for, it would be Biden. I would just pray.
This choice is a year away.
A more immediate choice will also have important national repercussions: Tuesday’s congressional elections in Virginia, where control of the House of Representatives and the Senate are at stake. The outcome will have an impact The American debate on abortionits broader political struggle for supremacy in the suburbs and the ambitions of the Commonwealth’s Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin.
“Hold the House, flip the Senate” has been Youngkin’s mantra in his campaign for GOP candidates heading into Tuesday. The governor, who is midway through his term and not on the ballot, considers himself a Republican who appeals to both the Republican Party’s Trump base and suburban voters.
And he thinks he can keep that appeal going while push for new restrictions on abortionpromising that if Republicans took full control of the legislature, they would pass it and he would sign a law banning abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
His Spirit of Virginia political action committee has spent a lot of money, and Youngkin’s rallies across the state are looking a lot like a presidential test. Legislative candidates have a few minutes to make their arguments, then Youngkin promises, if elected Republican, to cut taxes, increase police spending and give parents more rights over school programs .
“The other side is so afraid of losing Virginia totally because in 24 months we turned this state from blue to red,” Youngkin said at a rally last month in Henrico County.
Absent from his rally speeches: any mention of abortion.
The governor rejects the idea that he would omit abortion out of concern that his proposal would alienate undecided voters.