Hundreds of protesters rally in Harrisburg on Saturday, May 14, 2022, to promote abortion access (Capital-Star photo).
Here are three, big numbers to keep in mind today: 53, 48, and 54.
They are respectively, the percentage of registered voters nationwide who disagree with last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling toppling Roe v. Wade; the percentage who see the high court as politically motivated, and the percentage of registered voters who said they’d support swapping an 18-year term limit for what is currently a lifetime appointment.
Despite that dissatisfaction with the high court’s ruling, and the desire to see it reformed, a majority of Americans (51 percent) still said the court is an important institution for a healthy democracy.
The findings come courtesy of a new poll by Citizen Data, which sampled the opinions of 1,000 registered voters from June 29 to July 1. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
The high court’s ruling, which turbocharged the 2022 midterms nationwide, but particularly in such key battleground states as Pennsylvania, has proven a powerful motivator for voters of both parties, the poll showed.
All told, a majority of Americans (55 percent) said they were more likely to vote because of the high court’s decision, but the poll highlighted some sharp partisan and gender divisions.
Nearly seven in 10 self-identified Democrats (69 percent) told pollsters they are much more likely to vote as a result of the high court’s ruling, which returned abortion rights to states, many of which had trigger laws banning the procedure in the event of Roe being overturned.
That compares to 45 percent of self-identified Republican respondents who gave the same answer, the poll showed. And one in four nonpartisan, or independent, women told pollsters they were more inclined to vote for Democrats during the midterm elections, the poll showed.
In Pennsylvania, voters mobilized by a proposed amendment to the state Constitution declaring there is no right to an abortion — or a right to public funding for the procedure — are set to picket the offices of one of the top Republicans in the Legislature.
Activists are set to gather at 12 p.m. outside the district offices of Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, which is organizing the event, said in an email.
While concerns about the economy and inflation continue to top voters’ priorities list in a succession of national polls, the new Citizen Data canvass shows reproductive rights commanding a greater share of voters’ attention.
Forty-one percent of the poll’s respondents cited “potential changes to abortion laws” as a top concern as a result of the high court’s ruling; that’s up from the slightly less than a third (31 percent) who answered the same way when a draft of the court’s ruling leaked in May.
Abortion rights advocates, who have long warned of the consequences of Roe being toppled, are now clearly communicating that to voters, one advocate with Pennsylvania roots said.
“Anti-abortion politicians have never been afraid to tell people how they feel when it comes to abortion,” Gabby Richards, the director of federal advocacy communications for Planned Parenthood Action Fund, told Vox. “Reproductive rights champions, at every level of government, are on solid ground in sharing where they stand when it comes to safeguarding our ability to make decisions about our own bodies.”
Meanwhile, national Democrats, who see a path toward expanding their majorities on Capitol Hill running through the Keystone State, are launching a new, month-long advertising campaign calling attention to Republican attacks on abortion rights.
The new ad, tagged, ‘They Said it Themselves‘ highlights anti-abortion comments made by Republicans nationwide, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former Vice President Mike Pence, and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
It also directs viewers to a new website, DefendChoice.org, which is part of the Democrats’ nationwide effort to mobilize voters ahead of the midterms.
“Republicans have made clear over and over again that overturning Roe v. Wade is just the beginning – they won’t stop until abortion in illegal in every state and commonwealth, including Pennsylvania,” DNC Chairperson Jaime Harrison said in a statement.
Party leaders are “making sure Pennsylvanians know that Republicans are hellbent on banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest,” Harrison continued. “Republicans are trying to take away their rights, but we can fight back by organizing and working to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in Pennsylvania this November.”
As online reproductive health information is under attack, many pregnant-capable people are afraid that their privacy online is also at risk, Allison R. Donahue, of our sibling site, the Michigan Advance, reports.
The $45.2 billion state budget that Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law last week, provides a $140 million increase to the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, an action that will expand payments by 70 percent for one year. Our summer intern, Jaxon White, has the details.
Three new state parks are in the works for Pennsylvania, Cassie Miller reports.
Like everything else, rents in Philadelphia are rising and could go higher with the average 31 percent property tax increase coming next year, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.
A bill that Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law this week law protects cannabis businesses’ access to financial services, our partners at Pittsburgh City Paper report.
On our Commentary Page this morning: The U.S. Supreme Court’s EPA ruling is crippling, but not yet decapitating, a veteran observer writes in an op-ed first published by our sibling site, the Minnesota Reformer. And the Supreme Court’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ ruling puts immigration policy in the hands of voters – as long as elected presidents follow the rules. A University of California/Davis expert explains why that’s the case.
Fears of gun violence have prompted a member of Philadelphia City Council and a West Philadelphia business group to cancel events this weekend, the Inquirer reports.
Amid funding fears, a Westmoreland County library is weighing its options, the Tribune-Review reports.
PennLive’s John Baer weighs in on last week’s late-night vote in the Legislature pushing through a proposed constitutional amendment on abortion.
LancasterOnline updates on the latest on the bankruptcy travails of major local employer Armstrong Flooring (subscriber-only).
A new state law clamping down on people who illegally ride dirt bikes and ATVs on Pennsylvania’s city streets is a good start, but more needs to be done, Lehigh Valley officials tell the Morning Call.
The PIAA is paving the way for interscholastic athletes to be paid for their name, image and likeness, the Citizens’ Voice reports (subscriber-only).
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Josh Shapiro has picked up a key endorsement from Philadelphia firefighters after pledging to preserve binding arbitration, WHYY-FM reports.
Republican governor nominee Doug Mastriano paid $5,000 to a website used by the far right and the Tree of Life shooter, WESA-FM reports (via WITF-FM).
Deer processors are in demand across Pennsylvania — GoErie explains why.
City & State Pa. runs down the changes to Pennsylvania election law included in the new state budget.
Roll Call’s new House ratings show a GOP takeover — but no red wave.
Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:
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What Goes On
The desk is clear. Enjoy the silence.
What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
12 p.m.: Golf outing for Rep. Mike Sturla
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Tracy Pennycuick
6 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Martina White
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out an absolutely eye-watering $13,500 today.
Gov. Tom Wolf heads to Maine for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association.
English dance veterans Hot Chip return with a new single. Here’s ‘Eleanor.’ Office (home or otherwise) dance parties are actively encouraged.
Thursday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
The Baltimore Orioles kept up their winning ways, logging their 10th straight, with a 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night. The Os’ Anthony Santander doubled in the first, driving in two runs, to get things rolling.
And now you’re up to date.
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