Senator Bernie Sanders has said that Democrats are placing too much focus on abortion rights ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. He warns that this could potentially be allowing Republicans the space to focus on other key issues that can help them win back control of Congress.
In an op-ed for The Guardian on Monday morning, Sanders wrote that he was “alarmed to hear” that consultants and directors are advising candidates to only focus on abortion rights in the closing weeks of their campaigns. Abortion rights and access have been a key component of why the Democrats have gotten renewed hopes about keeping control of the Senate as their numbers increased over the summer.
As he wrote, while there should still be a focus on women’s rights to their bodies, they should also focus on other key issues, like the economy, which Republicans have been lying about in order to gain the upper hand. They also should not allow questions about inflation, and domestic policies “to go unanswered”. In the op-ed, he also referred to the financial strife faced by many Americans who have turned to Republicans for support.
An analysis by the Associated Press showed that the Democrats have invested over $124 million in TV ads referring to abortion. This is double the amount they have spent on any other key issue. However, according to recent polls and surveys, abortion access is not the most important issue for most voters.
In a September New York Times/Siena College poll, over half of voters said that they trusted the Republicans’ ability in terms of running the country’s economic affairs. In contrast, only 38 percent said they would prefer the Democrats. Polling also shows that the economy is the top issue for 49 percent of voters, while 31 percent find societal issues to be more important.