HomePoliticsThe region where the Democrats don't go all-in on Roe's fall

The region where the Democrats don’t go all-in on Roe’s fall

But both parties acknowledge that those personal views don’t automatically translate into increased support for government bans on abortion either, making it a difficult issue for GOP candidates to rally behind in their campaigns.

In South Texas, state Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said abortion simply isn’t the key issue others predicted it would be, playing second fiddle to education, inflation and other classic issues of ” kitchen table”. While Democratic candidates across the state, including in conservative-leaning Texas, are publicizing abortion — and Hinojosa says the issue is “clearly on the ballot” in November — it’s not working as well closer to the border. . A pair of outside groups, the House Majority PAC and the political arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, have run ads mentioning abortion only in the most Democratic-leaning southern Texas district.

Democrats have long held power in the region, but their influence has waned since the 2016 presidential election: In 2020, Democratic support fell in all three districts by about 7 percentage points, with President Joe Biden capturing almost the 51 percent support there. Then District 15 flipped for trump during last year’s redistricting.

The Republican Party already won a South Texas seat in Congress, after Rep. Mayra Flores he won a special election in June, and Republicans are looking to add Cassy Garcia and Monica De La Cruz to their ranks as well. De La Cruz is running for the open 15th District seat, while Garcia faces the Democratic representative. Henry Cuellar in November and Flores is in a member-versus-member race against the Democratic representative. Vincent Gonzalez.

Abortion is not absent from Democratic campaigns: Though the issue ranks low on the priority list for Latinos, the party has some hope that general unease about the GOP’s hardline messaging on abortion might ward off to voters in the region, Hidalgo County Democrats said. President Richard Gonzales.

“We’ve never been an extreme community,” Gonzales said of the county, which is encompassed by two of the battleground districts. “We’ve always cared about hard work, opportunity, inclusion, equality, and now all of a sudden we have congressional candidates running on a Donald Trump agenda, and that’s not who we’re going to be.”

Republicans aren’t publicly fazed.

“I’m not worried about dobbs decision that absolutely affects the Republican candidates in South Texas,” said Abraham Enríquez, founder of Bienvenido US, an organization dedicated to engaging conservative Latinos. “I think, in any case, the dobbs The decision has given South Texas voters an opportunity to be more educated and have a more sophisticated understanding of what it is to be pro-life.”

Two of the three South Texas matchups feature Republican women running against Democratic male incumbents, Enriquez said, which also gives GOP candidates “some wiggle room” and “credibility” to speak openly about their anti-Democratic beliefs. abortion.

In one such battleground race, Cuellar won his Democratic primary despite coming under fire from the left on abortion.

Hinojosa pointed to Cuellar’s primary victory over attorney Jessica Cisneros, who twice campaigned against him specifically for his anti-abortion beliefs and previous congressional votes on the issue. In a runoff in May, Cuéllar won re-election over Cisneros by fewer than 300 votes. Her extensive experience in Congress ultimately won over voters, Hinojosa said.

“This abortion issue, it’s just a small issue that he’s dealt with, but if you look at the whole thing in terms of bringing home things that are important to voters, he’s always been there for South Texas voters. and that is why it has been so successful,” Hinojosa said.

In the race against De La Cruz in another district, Democrat Michelle Vallejo said she has been a “strong advocate” for reproductive access throughout the campaign, as her opponent has kept quiet. Her message also includes abortion in a broader health infrastructure platform.

But while there is a huge political divide between De La Cruz, who is against abortion, and Vallejo, who is in favor of abortion rights, neither is running ads on the issue. Pro-De La Cruz ads have focused on problems like inflation and immigration, while Vallejo’s current ads highlight his working class background and claim that his opponent would jeopardize Medicare.

“No election is ever won on one issue, and this is something that has become very apparent to me as I have connected with more and more people throughout our district,” Vallejo said of Texas District 15, which It stretches from McAllen to the outskirts of San Antonio. In addition to talking to voters about the economy, she continued, “The issue of women not getting the care they need is something that is felt across the board, absolutely across the board, and it’s a problem that we have not shied away from.”

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