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Democratic candidates for attorneys general raise donations after Roe

This influx of campaign money is the latest evidence Democrats are putting forward as they say voters will hand them upset victories in the November ballot, and that Republicans’ anti-abortion stance will boost turnout and will influence independents.

The Democratic Attorneys General Association — the party’s only national campaign arm to explicitly demand that its candidates support abortion rights — generally follows its GOP counterpart in fundraising. But in the second quarter of this year, when roe deer fell, it edged out the Republican group, $6.47 million to $6.3 million. And while Republican fundraising was up 7% from the previous quarter this year, Democrats jumped 70%. And Ford says that included huge increases in small-dollar donations and major gifts.

“We have seen, even after the opinion leak in May, an increase in interest and energy around attorneys general who will prioritize the protection of reproductive freedom,” Aaron Ford, co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association and Nevada Attorney General running for re-election. this fall, POLITICO said.

The Association of Republican Attorneys General did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The group said it had no litmus test for its candidates when it comes to abortion rights. But as the association and individual GOP candidates tout their anti-abortion stances to voters and donors, and pledge to enforce state abortion bans if they win, they have also sought to redirect the conversation toward areas of perceived Democratic weakness, including crime and inflation.

The group and its individual candidates are focusing their messaging much more on areas where they feel they have more solid ground, including public safety and economic concerns — betting those issues will trump abortion rights for women. voters in November.

“Something can be popular but not particularly salient, and on the scale of salience, abortion falls far short of the economic problems that every American faces every day,” said Mark Weaver, former deputy attorney general of Ohio and Republican strategist working on campaigns around the country. “The question of how much regulation will fall on abortion will affect some Americans, but not all and not every day.”

Still, new polls and the results of this summer’s primary election have found abortion rights to be a major driver of votes, and rising donations have bolstered the prospects of Democrats across the country. Individual Democratic candidates for attorney general as well as the party’s campaign arm also saw a post-roe deer bump, particularly after Kansas’ decisive rejection of an anti-abortion ballot initiative in early August, has clouded expectations of what is possible for progressives in red and purple states.

Chris Mann, a former police officer running for Kansas attorney general, raised just over $300,000 between Jan. 1 and the end of July, according to state records. But in the two days after the state’s abortion referendum vote, the campaign raised more than $30,000 as it worked to highlight Republican candidate Kris Kobach’s anti-abortion record.

Sitting in his sparse campaign office in the college town of Lawrence the day before the referendum vote, Mann told POLITICO he saw signs of a sea change on reproductive rights — even in his deep red state.

“Just like in the state of Kansas, across the country, the vast majority of people believe in abortion rights,” he said. “We don’t usually seek medical advice from politicians and we don’t need it in our exam rooms. The government should not make health care decisions. Kansas people used to say that and we will continue to say it.

Rochelle Garza, the Democrat challenging Attorney General Ken Paxton in Texas, brought in more than $300,000 in the first week after roe deer fell, helping his campaign outperform his opponent in the last reporting period — $520,000 to Paxton’s $340,000. A Dallas Morning News poll released last week found Garza “neck to neck” with Paxton, and slightly ahead with independent voters.

In Georgia, challenger Jen Jordan beat her GOP counterpart Chris Carr in a fundraiser for the quarter that included the roe deer decision that paved the way for the coming into force of the state’s six-week abortion ban. Recent polls show Jordan only four points behind, fueling Democratic optimism.

A POLITICO analysis of ActBlue credit card processing fees leaked in IRS data shows that Jordan, Arizona Democratic hopeful Kris Mayes and Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul of Wisconsin all doubled in collections. online funds from previous months in the month after the Supreme Court issued the Dobbs decision.

And in Michigan, Attorney General Dana Nessel — a Democrat who has spoken out about her own abortion and made the issue a centerpiece of her campaign — significantly outranks her Republican challenger Matt DePerno, and now has about 20 times as many votes. cash in hand. In the week following the Supreme Court ruling, her campaign brought in $150,000 in donations, with the majority coming from first-time female donors.

Nessel devotes much of that haul hammering his abortion rights message to voters — throwing in a six-digit number digital ad campaign this month warning that “a vote for DePerno is a vote for the criminalization of women and their health care providers.”

“I fought tooth and nail alongside the governor. [Gretchen] Whitmer to ensure abortion remains safe and legal in our state,” she told reporters on a call earlier this month, adding that DePerno is “ready to pursue abortion in all jurisdictions. case, which is so incredibly frightening for the people of our state.”

DePerno’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but he touted his anti-abortion stance on the campaign trail and urged Michigan voters join his “fight to protect the right to life”.

Jason Roe, a Michigan Republican strategist, said despite polls showing majority support for abortion rights, some voters may be alienated by Nessel’s aggressive rhetoric on the issue.

“There is definitely a deep Catholic bloc and a deep Evangelical bloc in the state, and they transcend the white Christian narrative by reaching out to minority communities as well,” he said.

Even before roe deer fell, several Democratic candidates for attorney general were already posing as the last line of defense on abortion rights — especially in states that had so-called trigger laws on the books criminalizing the procedure. But as access to abortion plummets across the country, with another round of near-total bans taking effect in several states last month and more on the horizon, the flood of money from the campaign helps them highlight their office’s influence in a post-roe deer world.

“We are educating voters across the country about efforts to undermine that freedom – whether on social media, traditional media, ads, word of mouth, speeches and one-on-one conversations with voters – and the message resonates,” Ford said. “Sometimes we don’t even have to talk about it, it comes organically.”

Ahead of November, the group reminds donors that its nominees have pledged not to sue doctors or patients under state abortion laws, and of the legal battles incumbents such as Nessel are waging to block the implementation of pre-roe deer restrictions in their states.

“When I am AG, I will never sue a woman, doctor, nurse, pharmacist, midwife, doula – any medical professional – for abortion care or reproductive services, period. “Mayes said on the call with reporters.

Democratic attorneys general are also making sure voters and donors know they banded together in amicus briefs to try to influence courts weighing abortion laws in Texas, Idaho and elsewhere .

The association plans to amplify that message with digital ads this fall in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Texas — part of its plan to spend a record $30 million on a campaign that showcases the right to abortion as one of the main issues facing voters in November.

“We are touting the fact that we are the ones who are able to unite around this issue and work together to get things done on this front,” Ford said.

While the Republican Attorneys General Association doesn’t place as much emphasis on abortion rights as its Democratic counterpart, it doesn’t shy away from the issue either.

The day the Supreme Court overturned roe deerthe group sent a fundraising email reminding supporters that “every donation will help Republican attorneys general fight the Democrats’ pro-abortion agenda and stand up for life.”

And some Republican strategists, including Roe, warn that GOP candidates shouldn’t dodge the question entirely.

“I don’t know if you can afford to walk away from it – it won’t be possible,” he said. “A lot of voters have never actually sat down and thought a lot about what they think about abortion and all the sub-issues within it, and are voting on this issue now for the first time in their lives. So there’s an opportunity for Republicans to convince people of the value of the pro-life stance, but to do that you have to talk about it, and that may not be comfortable for everyone.


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