It is hard to predict the impact of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision on the midterms, but Pennsylvania will be in the center ring.
It’s clear that if state Sen. Doug Mastriano wins in November and succeeds Tom Wolf as governor, Pennsylvania will move to significantly restrict abortion rights. If Attorney General Josh Shapiro succeeds Wolf, Republicans in the legislature would have to override his veto for any bills that even slightly restrict abortions to become law.
So, it was interesting to hear Mastriano’s response to the decision. He stated, “Roe v. Wade is rightly relegated to the ash heap of history. As the abortion debate returns to the states, Pennsylvania must be prepared to lead the nation in being a voice for the voiceless.”
This was expected, but he then pivoted to say, “Pennsylvanians will not be distracted by the hysterics of the left as they exploit this ruling to try to fulfill their far-left agenda. As they struggle with all-time record-high inflation, the people care deeply about the price of gas and groceries, as well as out-of-control crime and good-paying jobs –which is exactly why I will prioritize these issues as their governor.”
This is precisely what Mastriano should be saying.
People see skyrocketing food and energy prices every day. On Monday, June 27, the Wall Street Journal reported that inflation is so bad that gas stations now hold up to $175 of your money when you swipe your credit or debit card. Payment networks can lift the hold once the total of gas purchased is determined, but they report holds can take hours or longer to settle. This raises the risk of overdraft penalties if you use a debit card and the potential of eating up credit limits if you use a credit card.
Shapiro doesn’t talk about any of this. This past weekend he was the star at several rallies that aimed to make people believe that the Supreme Court decision had changed abortion rights in Pennsylvania. It is up to Mastriano to stay on message and repeatedly outline how he would open up Pennsylvania’s energy sources and create jobs.
Media coverage will have a lot to do with how Pennsylvania races play out. I strongly object to the Bucks County Courier Times coverage of a rally by abortion-rights advocates in front of the offices of Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick. First, the paper labeled Fitzpatrick as anti-abortion. They did not label Democrat Ashley Ehasz, his opponent in the November election, as pro-abortion.
Ehasz accused Fitzpatrick of “screwing over” a lot of women in the district due to his abortion stance.
In the wake of the Roe decision, The Philadelphia Inquirer said that Democrats would need to flip twelve seats to gain control of the state House in Harrisburg. They speculate that the Democrats’ best chances are in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
I predict the Inquirer will profile unending numbers of suburban women who usually vote for Republicans to quote them saying this abortion decision is sending them into the voting column of the Democratic Party.
One wild card that might surface to affect the Pennsylvania elections could be the impeachment proceedings against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. This week Republicans will choose a select committee of three Republicans and two Democrats to begin an investigation of Krasner.
I think this issue could surface in the governor’s race. Josh Shapiro has been given expanded power to oversee Krasner’s cases by the legislature. He has chosen not to exercise this power and Philadelphia is a lot worse for that decision.