Roundup: Choice Issues Play Key Role in Key Races


Election Day is only eight weeks away, and abortion politics are becoming a bigger factor in races, from primaries to general elections. 

The three-way senate race in Florida is heating up, and it’s becoming more apparent that Governor Charlie Crist’s plan is to vie for non-conservative voters.  Now he’s attacking Democratic nominee Kendall Meeks for saying he’s not for abortion rights.  Via the Palm Beach Post:

Meek released an ad Tuesday in which he claims, among other things, that he’s “the only one against privatizing Social Security” and “the only one who’s pro-choice.”

“I think it’s off the mark,” Crist said of the ad.

As for Meek’s abortion claim, Crist said, “I’m pro-life, that’s my personal position. But as you know I vetoed a bill this year that would have required an ultrasound that I think was too invasive and didn’t respect women in the way that they should be. So that kind of leaves choice to women.”

When he was a Republican seeking the GOP Senate nomination, Crist played up his “pro-life” stance, but qualified it by saying he would “rather change hearts” than change laws.

As a GOP candidate for governor in 2006, Crist told The Palm Beach Post: “I’m pro-life. And I believe in a culture that supports life. But I also obviously am very respectful of those who have a different point of view. And I’ve said publicly that I think it’s more important to change hearts than change the law and wouldn’t attempt to do so.”

The Meek campaign defended its characterization of Crist’s abortion stance by citing the NARAL Pro-Choice America website, which describes Crist as “anti-choice.”

In Washington state’s senate race between Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi, choice may be the key to bringing the enthusiasm of Tea Party voters to Rossi’s side.  While Murray can count EMILY’s List as a campaign endorser, Rossi has no big backers and may need to take more conservative stands to get some.

Via Associated Content:

According to Open Secrets, 85 percent of Rossi’s donations are from individuals, with only 5 percent from political action committees. Clint Didier, who lost to Rossi in the primary, could bring the Tea Party to Rossi’s side, but he has first demanded that he commit against abortion, tax increases and federal spending.

Chances of unseating Patty Murray: Rossi has come very close to winning elections in the last several years, but he has fallen short. To get over the hump, he has to unite Republicans and tap into anti-incumbent sentiment.

For Delaware’s open house seat, abortion could also be the deciding factor, in this case between two candidates vying for the Republican endorsement.  One candidate even believes that abortion should be banned in cases of rape and incest.

From NewsOk.com:

[Glen] Urquhart, appointed by former President Ronald Reagan to chair the federal planning commission that oversees projects in and around the nation’s capital, describes Reagan as his “mentor” and often brings up his name while trying to portray himself as more conservative than Rollins.

“I’m not a born-again conservative,” he said in a recent debate highlighted by a discussion about abortion.

During the debate, Urquhart chided [Michele] Rollins for not signing a pro-life pledge.

“Abortion is murder,” said Urquhart, suggesting that the procedure should be prohibited even if the woman is a victim of rape or incest.

Urquhart stood by his position in an interview Wednesday.

“We have two innocent parties in a rape, the child and the mother,” he explained. “And to say that the child is the mother’s property is a return to the days of slavery… I believe that taking the life of an unborn child is murder.”

Rollins, says she is personally against abortion and opposes federal funding, late-term abortions and abortions for minors without parental consent, but that the choice should be left to a woman.

“I believe that the social issues are important and they are personal, but they should not be part of the political campaign,” she said Wednesday.

Mini Roundup: Johnson & Johnson is pledging a five year commitment to maternal and child health globally, and the altruistic public relations campaign is already paying dividends in the media.

September 8, 2010

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