When Democratic North Carolina state Sen. Rachel Hunt announced her candidacy this week for lieutenant governor, she wrapped it in a cautionary message for voters: “I’m running for Lt. Governor because the Republican plan isn’t this year’s 12-week abortion ban; it’s next year’s total abortion ban.”
Republicans, she suggested, won’t stop at the 12-week abortion ban they rammed through the state Legislature last month. They’re coming back for more—just as soon as they have the votes to do it.
North Carolina Democrats are betting Republicans overplayed their hand on abortion—not only passing the ban, but then using their recently ill-acquired legislative supermajority to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the measure.
Polls suggest Democrats have a point. An Elon University survey released this week found that 45% of Tar Heel voters oppose “recent changes” to the state’s abortion laws, while just 23% support them (33% neither supported nor opposed).
Another poll conducted by Change Research immediately after Republicans passed the 12-week ban found that 59% of North Carolinians say abortion should be legal in all/most cases, while 40% say it should be illegal in all/most cases. Only 10% supported making abortion illegal in all cases.
The Biden campaign also sees potential in the state President Joe Biden lost in 2020 by 1.4 points, his narrowest defeat of the cycle.
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