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Scott Jensen, Republican candidate for governor in Minnesota, is fleeing from his own position against abortion after his poll numbers took a dive.
“I would try to ban abortion,” Jensen vowed in a March interview with Minnesota Public Radio. In the past, he has also said he would work to ban it without exceptions for rape and incest “unless the mother’s life is in danger.”
Now, with voters outraged over the issue after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Jensen has released a new video insisting abortion is a “protected constitutional right” in the state and “no governor can change that.”
Jensen, who trailed incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (D) by 5 points in spring, is down by 18 points in the latest poll from KSTP/SurveyUSA. Abortion is believed to be a key reason for it.
But he’s not alone. Multiple GOP candidates have been rushing to hide, cover up and erase their past comments on abortion. Just last month, Blake Masters, the Republican candidate for Senate in Arizona, was busted toning down the anti-abortion language on his website, even erasing references to being a “100% pro-life” candidate.
Since the Supreme Court decision, polls have shown that Americans favor abortion rights by a wide margin, and it’s turning into a major campaign issue ahead of November’s midterm elections.
TargetSmart, a Democratic data firm, said women are outnumbering men in new voter registrations in multiple states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia and North Carolina:
Here are the states with the biggest gender gap among new registrants since the Dobbs decision was handed down. This isn’t just a blue state phenomena. In fact, it is more pronounced in states where choice is more at risk, or has been eliminated by the decision. pic.twitter.com/X4Kj2oG550
— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) August 17, 2022
A Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll last month found that while economics remained a prime motivating factor, interest in abortion is rising with the percentage of voters who call abortion access “very important” up 9 points since February.
KFF president Drew Altman said in a news release that abortion could turn into a difference-maker at the polls in November, when control over the House and Senate will be decided.
“It’s motivating a lot of younger women to vote, and most Democrats, half of independents and even some Republicans plan to vote for candidates who support abortion access,” he said.