Analysts: Supreme court leak, abortion rights will likely change candidate's path to November

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Posted at 6:57 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 23:24:46-04

As Ohio concludes its midterm election, some strategists said they expect Monday's alleged leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion declaring Roe v. Wade should be overturned will change what voters see from candidates heading toward November.

"Abortion and Roe versus Wade has always been a top of the list item for campaigns and there's no reason to think that this puts anything to bed," said Ryan Salzman, assistant professor of political science for Northern Kentucky University.

Ohio voters will be electing a U.S. senator to fill Rob Portman's seat, and the gubernatorial race will likely have longstanding impact on Ohio's future if Roe v. Wade is repealed.

"A lot of people right now are like this is going to be a huge deal," Cody Rizzuto, President of Hometown Strategies said.

With the future of abortion rights, precedents set by Roe v. Wade and leaked Supreme Court leanings poised to bring change political strategists and scientists said they sense another shake up.

"This could be like a spark to a powder keg of enthusiasm," Salzman added.

Aditya Roy-Chaudbury, a political consultant for Rivertown Strategies, which successfully helped candidates with races for Cincinnati mayor, council and other offices, expects abortion rights to become a bigger part of local campaigns to some degree.

"This could bring out tons of voters that we typically don't see in the mid-term (elections)," he said. "So think young, college voters that typically vote in the presidential years then they don't turn out in the mid-terms."

Rizzuto, whose company helps local Republicans win office, told us voter polls will decide how big of a priority the right to an abortion becomes. He thinks, though, the leak of a confidential Supreme Court document could play a part in the discourse too.

"We're going to see probably in the next few weeks and months multiple investigations and inquiries into what happened and why and that will come with another whole host of political ramifications," Rizzuto said.

What the Supreme Court ultimately decides is crucial, strategists and political scientists said. Campaigns on both sides are already discussing how they'll use the Supreme Court's actions to fire up their base through targeted digital, television and physical advertisements.

Despite a U.S. Senate seat, Governor and state representative offices up for grabs in Ohio, some think the biggest impact will be on other races.

"I think that on local judicial races," Roy-Chaudhury said. "Those are going to get way more attention than they got in previous years past."