Connecticut Democrats campaign on Roe decision, but will it sway voters?
Connecticut Democrats are hoping anger over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will translate into votes, but will the issue make a difference at the ballot box?
On Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont launched a campaign ad promising to keep abortion legal and accessible. He also took a swing at his Republican opponent, Bob Stefanowski.
"I think it's top of mind,” said Lamont. “People want to know where you stand. Are you going to call for restrictions on Roe v. Wade or not?"
Stefanowski says abortion is a non-issue in Connecticut because it's codified in state law – although he does support adding a parental consent requirement for kids under 16.
"Democrats are going to want to do a lot of fear mongering on this issue in Connecticut. It's part of the law, it's not going to change,” said Stefanowski. “They don't want to talk about inflation, they don't want to talk about gas prices."
So are abortion rights really at risk in Connecticut?
In the General Assembly, many Republicans are pro-choice. In fact, Stefanowski's running mate, Rep. Laura Devlin, recently voted to expand abortion access. But the state Senate president has a warning.
"The Republican party itself is becoming more and more conservative,” said state Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven). “So I don't know whether all those more moderate Republicans are likely to continue in office."
This year's Republican primary for U.S. Senate could be a litmus test. Themis Klarides, who received the party endorsement, is vocally pro-choice. But her two opponents, Leora Levy and Peter Lumaj, oppose abortion.
But with the November elections four months away, will abortion still motivate voters? Some political analysts think inflation will remain the dominant focus.
"You know, there's only so much voters can do,” said Dr. Jonathan Wharton with Southern Connecticut State University. “Because this is really a Supreme Court decision that was handed down, so it's not like the voters can decide on the judges."