Advertisement

What the Florida abortion rulings mean for Biden

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign newsletter

{beacon}

 The Big Story 

A pair of rulings from the state Supreme Court simultaneously upheld Florida’s 15-week abortion ban and greenlit a ballot measure to enshrine protections in the state constitution, offering a potential boost to Biden and Democrats in the state.

© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Biden’s reelection campaign announced just after the Florida decisions came down Monday that it’s targeting the Sunshine State, which went to former President Trump in 2016 and 2020, for a flip in the fall.

 

The president bashed the “extreme decision” to affirm the 15-week ban — which also gave the greenlight for an even stricter six-week ban to take effect on May 1, banning abortion at a point of gestation before many women know they are pregnant.

 

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting reproductive freedom in Florida and across the nation and will continue to call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in every state,” Biden said in a statement.

 

At the same time, the Florida court also gave the all-clear for a ballot initiative that would, through an amendment to the state constitution, protect abortion up to the point of fetal viability. Voters will get to weigh in on the measure in November.

 

Democrats in Florida say the looming six-week ban and the ballot measure both raise the stakes for November’s election, and could energize voters to turn for pro-choice candidates up and down-ballot.

 

The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Julia Mueller dive into how the abortion rulings could galvanize voters and give a leg up to former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell (D) in her Senate race against incumbent Sen. Rick Scott (R).

 

On Tuesday, Mucarsel Powell’s campaign released a memo calling the ruling a “gamechanger” in the Senate race, and Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said Democrats plan to run on the issue.

 

The developments could also boost Biden as he looks to flip the state, giving the incumbent a more offensive position and forcing Trump to fight for a red-leaning state he may not otherwise have had to.

 

“Make no mistake: Florida is not an easy state to win, but it is a winnable one for President Biden, especially given Trump’s weak, cash-strapped campaign, and serious vulnerabilities within his coalition,”  Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.

 

Meanwhile, Trump has teased that he’ll make a “statement next week on abortion” in the wake of the the Florida decisions.

 

Read more about the Biden campaign’s plans to flip Florida from The Hill’s Alex Gangitano.

 

Essential Reads 

Key election stories and other recent campaign coverage:

The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report announced Wednesday that it’s shifting its rating of the Nevada Senate race from “lean Democrat” to “toss up.”  Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) is likely to go against retired Army Capt. Sam Brown (R) in November. Brown has several primary challengers, though Senate Republicans have sought to coalesce around the Army veteran this cycle.   Meanwhile, Rosen is running …

I'm an image

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) hauled in more than $12 million in the first quarter of fundraising in the Ohio Senate race, his campaign announced Wednesday.   Brown is running against businessman Bernie Moreno (R) in November as he vies for a fourth term in the Senate.   “While Sherrod’s opponent makes it clear he’s only out for himself and is using his millions to try to buy Ohio’s Senate seat, Sherrod has unprecedented …

I'm an image

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned his supporters Tuesday that Democrats have their sights set on his home state for upcoming elections. “Democrats plan to spend over $100 million in this race, and they want to flip Texas, and I’ll tell you what this race is all about. This race is all about keeping Texas, Texas,” Cruz said during Houston campaign event, according to the Houston Chronicle. Democrats “have put a bullseye on …

I'm an image

The Countdown 

Upcoming news themes and events we’re watching:

  • 103 days until the Republican National Convention

  • 138 days until the Democratic National Convention

  • 216 days until the 2024 general election

In Other News 

Branch out with a different read from The Hill:

I'm an image

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) office is opposing former President Trump’s demand that his fast-approaching hush money trial be delayed because of prejudicial publicity.  In court papers made public Wednesday, prosecutors argued the April 15 trial date should go ahead as planned, noting it was Trump’s eighth bid to postpone the schedule as part of his broader legal strategy to delay all four of his criminal …

Around the Nation 

Local and state headlines regarding campaigns and elections:

What We’re Reading 

Election news we’ve flagged from other outlets:

  • The Church of Trump: How he’s infusing Christianity into his movement (The New York Times)

  • RFK Jr. voters span the political spectrum. But they agree on disliking Biden and Trump. (The Washington Post)

  • Biden campaign beefs up its polling operation (Politico)

Elsewhere Today 

Key stories on The Hill right now:

I'm an image

When President Biden moved into the White House in early 2021, a debate ensued about whether he could bring his Peloton bike with him because of the security risks it might pose. Biden had grown attached to the bike, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the New York Times reported he and Jill Biden would “engage in regular … Read more

I'm an image

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) may have endorsed former President Trump in his bid for the White House, but their relationship remains as icy as ever. McConnell still doesn’t talk to Trump, even while some of his top deputies — Senate GOP Whip John Thune (S.D.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) — have reached out to the … Read more

You’re all caught up. See you next time! 

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.