Voters in Ohio voted to put the right to abortion in the state’s constitution this week, a resounding rejection of Republican efforts to limit access to abortion across the United States following last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Saturday, podcast host Dean Obeidallah had one recommendation for President Joe Biden’s reelection team: resurrect a famous line from the 1992 presidential election.
Decades ago, strategist James Carville told presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s team to focus with the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.” This time around, Obeidallah told MSNBC host Ali Velshi, the Biden campaign needs to emphasize, “It’s the abortion, stupid.”
“In fact, after that, ‘It’s the democracy, stupid,'” Obeidallah continued. “Even in polls that the New York Times polled over the weekend that showed Biden trailing, it still showed Americans solidly approved Biden’s handling of abortion and democracy.”
“Those issues are intertwined to me,” Obeidallah added. “It’s about self-determination.”
Obeidallah and Velshi were joined by Vanity Fair correspondent Molly Jong-Fast, who led the discussion. After Velshi pointed out that Americans keep voting in favor of abortion rights, Jong-Fast said, “Look, Democrats have wildly popular policies, right? Choice is wildly popular, and we’re seeing firsthand why they overturned Roe v. Wade … why Roe v. Wade happened in 1973.”
“Because doctors are afraid to treat,” she continued. “Maternal mortality is going up. We’re seeing these horror stories, we’re seeing the 12-year-old girls. So I think this is a wildly popular– just like the way the legalization of marijuana is wildly popular, these ideas, which are the ideas that Democrats are trying to enact, these ideas are popular.”
On Thursday, Chris Hayes delivered a similar message. After describing Tuesday’s elections as “brutal” for the Republican Party, he pointed out that seven states — Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, California and Vermont — have introduced abortion rights to ballots since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. In all seven, voters have chosen to protect reproductive rights.