A group of Democrats who do not support abortion say that they can help the party win elections, Politico reported.
The group, Democrats for Life of America, recognizes that it is small, with many Democrats moving leftward on the abortion issue. Members jokingly refer to themselves as “unicorns,” the report said.
When the group was founded nearly two decades ago, its website list as many as 43 House Democrats as members, but today Democrats for Life endorses two sitting House members and three senators, the report said.
The group’s leaders say that Democrats won’t win majorities in Congress unless Democrats welcome candidates that do not want their party to be synonymous with abortion rights, such as in heavily Roman Catholic or blue-collar states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, and conservative and heavily Hispanic states such as Texas.
These Democrats believe they can bring in votes from Republicans who are against abortion but otherwise are also opposed to Republican President Donald Trump.
The midterm elections in November will test the group, with all three senators that it endorses — West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, and Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey — up for re-election in races considered to be close. Three House Democrats that consistently vote against abortion rights — Reps. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Colin Peterson of Minnesota, and Henry Cuellar of Texas — are considered safe in their races.
Polling does not appear to be trending toward anti-abortion Democrats, Politico reported. The group says that as many as 1 in 3 Democrats would call themselves “pro-life,” but polling from the firm PerryUndem suggests that number is 6 percent.
A July Reuters suggests that in the last two years, Democrats have become more accepting of abortion, with 68 percent believing it should remain legal, up from 60 percent in 2016.
Some moderate Republicans want their party to be more welcoming to those who support abortion, and some polling suggests that would be an easier selling point than Democrats winning over those who are anti-abortion. Tresa Undem from PerryUndem said that “by going after the 6 percent, you risk losing the 75 percent” of Democrats who are strongly in favor of abortion rights, Politico reported.
If the group does not hit its goals in the midterm elections, however, it is unlikely that its members would switch to the Republican Party, Politico reported.
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