As they continue their attempts to force Brett Kavanaugh through to the Supreme Court come hell or high water and as Republican lawmakers try desperately to hang onto their own seats during a year in which the public has very much turned against them, Republicans on the campaign trail have been studiously trying to stifle talk of banning abortion; in the campaign ads, interviews, and anything else televised talk of the far-right’s most longstanding judicial goal has been almost absent.
On the ground, however, reminding conservative voters of the urgency of electing far-right Republicans in order to ban abortion outright is very much part of conservative turnout efforts.
Organizers for Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, ran a series of events in red states in August and early September and have had more than 500 canvassers knock on doors at more than 1.6 million homes in Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and North Dakota.
This is at this point a familiar play—and, in the past, it can be an extraordinarily effective one for the far-right. In mainstream pushes, conservative candidates must at least pretend at moderation, lest they alarm the wide swath of middle-ground voters that generally support abortion rights but seldom base votes on them. Under the radar, conservative interest groups target the fervent base with assurances that their candidate is as extremist as they would like him to be and, especially, emphasize the urgency of voting in the race.
It’s not been uncommon for pollsters to be surprised by an influx of dedicated conservative voters seemingly appearing out of nowhere, on election day. And this is why any talk of a blue wave needs to take into account that the religious nutcases that have latched on to Donald Trump as their latest savior are being primed by conservative interest groups to believe that all of America hinges on giving the Holy Rapist his preferred Republican lawmakers. Large portions of America may be supremely motivated to toss Trump’s Republican enablers out on their ears, but behind the scenes a great deal of money is going toward shoring up the most reliable Republican voters of all: “values” voters who have none.
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