The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has upended the 2022 midterm elections, which only months ago were looking absolutely dire for Democrats.
However, polling shows that many GOP Senate candidates are lagging behind their Democratic rivals among women, and Republicans' hardline stance on the issue of abortion is a major reason why.
“I’m convinced that, based on numbers we have, Republicans have to make some kind of leap on the abortion issue,” Arizona GOP strategist Chuck Coughlin tells Politico. “Because they’re getting killed among women.”
One particularly telling example of this is in Coughlin's own state, where Trump-backed candidate Blake Masters has consistently trailed incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ).
Masters recently rushed to scrub his website of pledges for a nationwide abortion ban, and he even deployed his wife to appear in an ad aimed at winning over women voters.
One Republican working on Senate races tells Politico that such moves will be necessary if the GOP hopes to win back control of the Senate this fall.
“Our problem is particularly white middle-aged women,” they said. “We need to soften our guys... If we’re debating abortion or anything else for that matter — that’s not the closing message you want as a candidate."