Murkowski says Supreme Court abortion decision hurt Republicans in midterms

Lisa Murkowski, Pat Chesbro, Kelly Tshibaka, US Senate, candidates, politics, campaign, debate, forum

WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska said in an interview that she believes the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade contributed to the poor performance of the Republican Party in the midterm elections.

“I think the Republican Party, or certainly Republicans in Congress, are looking at the midterms now in the rear-view mirror and saying, ‘Okay, it wasn’t the red wave some thought it was. And since it wasn’t, why not? Murkowski said.

“Republicans nationally didn’t see a lot of support from (the) younger generation. Okay, why is that? she said.

“I think we are going to see very clearly that the support of women in general was not what we want it to be as a party,” Murkowski said. “I put it down to the Dobbs decision.”

Murkowski is on track to win re-election, and the most recent vote tally shows her ahead of her Trump-backed Republican opponent, Kelly Tshibaka, in first-choice votes. Abortion emerged as a key issue in that contest.

[Current 2022 Alaska general election preliminary results]

While Tshibaka has said he opposes abortion access, Murkowski is one of two incumbent Republican senators to support codification of Roe v. Wade, and tried to do so both before and after the June Supreme Court decision. But he also opposed a Democratic-led effort to protect abortion rights that he said did not include sufficient limitations on abortion, such as conscience protections for health care providers to deny abortion on religious grounds.

In the interview, Murkowski said Dobbs’ decision brought Alaskan women voters to the polls.

“I can tell you, as a candidate, that women in Alaska were very motivated to vote because of the Supreme Court ruling. They wanted to know that their right to abortion would be protected. They wanted to know specifically, ‘What does it mean to code Roe?’ Murkowski said. “And I know, as a Republican candidate, that was a motivating factor for women in my state.”

Murkowski said the GOP will have to look inward to lure voters, particularly young and female voters, back into the fold.

“I think we’re going to look at the election and look at this critically and say, ‘Okay, what can we as a party do to share a message that reflects Republican values ​​but recognizes that there’s a broad constituency out there? there that the party hasn’t addressed,’” Murkowski said.

Murkowski added the caveat that “Alaskan politics is different than national politics.”

“Based on where the numbers are, it looks to me like we’re going to send a very conservative governor back to a second term… It looks to me right now like we’re going to send a moderate Democrat to Congress,” he said, referring to Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy. and US Representative Mary Peltola, a Democrat.

“And it seems to me, based on every interpretation I have of the numbers and the confidence I have in myself and my campaign, that this moderate Republican will be back in office. And so you look at the big picture of that, and that’s not the norm in a lot of other parts of the country,” he said.

“My conclusion is that Alaskans, once again, reflect their independence, reflect that they will choose person over party. And that what they are looking for is a commitment to Alaska rather than a commitment to an individual,” Murkowski said.

Peltola also made abortion access a cornerstone of his campaign, while his Republican opponents, former Governor Sarah Palin and businessman Nick Begich, described themselves as “pro-life.” Peltola is also poised to win re-election, with around 48% of voters ranking her as her first choice.

“The election really seemed to lift a lot of people, including in Alaska,” Peltola campaign manager Anton McParland said. “It’s not the main problem for everyone, but it definitely played out more than necessarily anticipated.”

Daily News reporter Iris Samuels contributed to this article.

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Reporter Riley Rogerson is a full-time reporter for the Anchorage Daily News based in Washington, DC. Her position is supported by Report for America, which works to fill the gaps in reporting coverage across the United States and place a new generation of journalists in community news organizations. Around the country. Report for America, funded by public and private donors, covers up to 50% of a journalist’s salary. It’s up to ADN to find the other half, through local community donors, benefactors, grants, or other fundraising activities.

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