Republican committee warns candidates on IVF

The memo Tuesday also cautioned against basing campaigns solely on opposition to Biden.
Signs showing the way for voters stands outside a Cobb County voting building during the first day of early voting, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in Marietta, Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

The largest Republican group backing state legislative candidates is urging party members to embrace protections for doctors and clinics that provide in vitro fertilization treatment in the run-up to November’s elections, after a court ruling in Alabama sent the GOP scrambling to add new protections.

In a memo released Tuesday morning, the Republican State Leadership Committee and its policy partner said a recent poll they commissioned found voters were more likely to support candidates who “voted for commonsense protections for doctors and fertility clinics who assist parents and families in having children.”

“[T]here is room to grow with independent voters by showing more compassion on hot button issues that matter to voters,” Dee Duncan, the RSLC’s president, wrote.

Duncan also warned Republicans not to base their campaigns solely on opposition to President Biden, in spite of Biden’s low approval ratings. Duncan said Republicans should learn from their mistakes during the 2022 midterms, when Democrats gained control of legislative chambers in Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, added a U.S. Senate seat and held down losses in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“While it’s tempting, the data suggests this strategy is insufficient on its own,” Duncan wrote. “Yes, 48% of voters think they are worse off than they were four years ago, and yes, 58% of voters are more likely to support a Republican in response, but instead of solely focusing your campaign messaging on Biden, concentrate on the policy difference between Republicans and Democrats, highlighting GOP-led initiatives that are directly improving lives.”

Duncan said the poll found Republicans leading Democrats on key issues. Voters are more likely to trust the GOP handling inflation and the economy, crime and public safety, and illegal immigration and border security.

Those issues are more salient to voters than major issues around which Democrats are organizing their campaigns, Duncan said, including abortion rights and the threat to democracy. He urged Republican candidates to focus specifically on managing inflation and securing the Southern border with Mexico.

Voters in 44 states will choose new state lawmakers in 85 legislative chambers this year. At stake are 5,793 legislative seats, or about 78% of all state lawmakers.

Democrats and Republicans have signaled they will place a priority on legislative chambers in many of the same states that will decide the presidency in 2024.

Republicans hold narrow control of the Arizona House and Senate, the Pennsylvania Senate and the New Hampshire Senate. Democrats are clinging to slim majorities in both chambers in Michigan and Minnesota, along with the Pennsylvania House.