JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is having all types of impacts across the country, and it’s expected to be a major influence in the upcoming midterm elections.
In Florida, there will be races for governor and members of Congress. In a little more than two months, voters will be hitting the polls for the primary.
The Supreme Court’s decision Friday could galvanize voters on both sides. However, while some say it may bring more voters to the polls, not everyone agrees.
The passion over the decision has been evident, with protests this weekend, including those in favor of abortion and those against it.
But News4JAX asked voters whether that passion will carry over to the upcoming elections, and Beth Cullens doesn’t think there will be an impact.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to change any voter’s opinion, as sad as that might sound,” Cullens said. “The Democrats have had a lot of mistakes, and the Republicans have had a lot of mistakes.”
News4JAX heard that from several people in downtown Jacksonville on Monday, but the answer from local party leaders is quite different.
“Well, we have seen that this issue has traditionally been something that people have paid attention to, particularly Democrats,” Duval County Democratic Party Chair Daniel Henry told News4JAX on Monday. “But now that it’s real and the Supreme Court has made this ruling and knowing that it’s illegal in about half the country, it has been a lot more galvanizing for our side because we understand the importance of why this right is so important.”
News4JAX reached out on Monday to Republican Party of Duval County Chair Dean Black, as well, and he too said it will bring more of their voters to the polls.
“Absolutely, but I think they were already planning on coming. This is going to make sure they are there and more stridently,” Black said.
He also told News4JAX: “Republican voters are excited. Look, we are the party that is pro-life. We defend life, and this is a great victory.”
News4JAX political analyst Rick Mullaney says he does see this as more of a draw for Democrats.
“This is potentially advantage to the Democrats in a number of ways. First, to motivate the base and get people out to vote. But second, reframing the debate for November away from inflation, away from crime, away from some of those other dominant issues, to this issue, which is a very important issue, particularly for suburban women, which is an important constituency,” Mullaney said. “One thing to keep an eye on: Do the Republicans overplay their hand?”
It has only been a few days, but supervisor of elections offices in Northeast Florida told News4JAX on Monday that voter registration has not kicked up since Friday.