I’ve talked to tens of thousands of voters in Northern Virginia and I don’t think we can win on guns, but I think we can win on abortion. I’ve talked with single-issue, 2nd Amendment voters, who agree with Democrats on every other issue. And I have convinced them Republicans are wrong on guns but they still say they will vote for the Republican, “just in case.” These people are acting out of a paranoid fear we can’t fix and they have been convinced Democrats want to take away their guns and too many Democrats reinforce that frame. We can’t get through to enough of them to make a difference.

However, single-issue, pro-life, Independents are acting out of what they believe is compassion. They have been convinced Democrats are evil, baby killers and I believe we can break that frame and replace it with a new frame, which is also the truth. I also believe there are enough of these voters  to win more elections, save our democracy, keep abortion legal, pass common-sense gun reform and more. The Republican lack of action on guns in the face of epidemic mass shootings also helps us with these same single-issue, pro-life, Independent voters.

Every time we try to explain or defend abortion, we lose support from these single-issue, pro-life, Independent voters, that we need to keep abortion legal and Republicans know this. We jump into a frame Republicans know we will jump into and we do their work for them. We should be turning this around on Republicans and make them explain or defend why they oppose every proven solution that reduces abortion. When I am canvassing for candidates, this response below seems to work on every person I talk to, who brings up abortion:

Republicans oppose every solution that reduces abortion, like free contraception and better sex education. Instead, they push abstinence-only education, which does not work and they want to make abortion illegal, which does not reduce abortions. It only makes abortions dangerous for poor women. If we care about life, let’s focus on the solutions that work, and make sure our babies get the healthcare, food, clothing, and education they need to succeed in this world we all live in together.

If needed:

Colorado cut their abortion rate in half by making the most expensive IUD available for free. This cut their unplanned pregnancy rate by 64%, which cut their abortion rate in half. But Republicans won’t allow it nationwide. The only thing standing in the way of cutting our abortion rate in half are Republicans. They don’t really care about abortions. They only care how they can use a hot button issue like this to scare people into voting for them.

Sources:

Abortion rates highest where legally restricted
https://www.scidev.net/global/news/abortion-rates-highest-where-legally-restricted-study/

How Colorado Halved Abortion Rate
https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2019/06/05/abortion-teen-pregnancy-decline-colorado

Contraception works, especially when it’s free. Abstinence, not so much.
https://psmag.com/news/good-on-you-colorado

Abstinence-only programs do not change sexual behavior-Texas
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC548759/

That said, if guns come up, this is how I respond:

Republicans are the only thing standing in the way of solutions, every other developed country has implemented, to nearly eliminate mass shootings. Republicans care more about wealthy gun makers than our children, who are slaughtered in our schools. We need common-sense gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of children and dangerous criminals and Republicans won’t allow it.

I look forward to constructive thoughts on how to best win over enough voters to win more elections, save our democracy, keep abortion legal, pass common-sense gun reform and more.

Bonus: I hope you will also watch why listening to voters is so important to win elections.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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