Abortion Is Not a Side Issue
Republicans could drop abortion to focus on core issues like the economy, but there's a problem with that.
It would probably help Republicans’ electoral chances if they dropped the abortion issue. They don’t have to become pro-abortion; they just have to not bring it up. Things are already hurting for them after the Dobbs decision, as that seemed to be much more motivating to people worried about abortion being outlawed than joyous at the prospect.
And it’s pretty apparent that abortion is more important to the Democrats than to the Republicans. There are still pro-abortion Republicans, but any pro-life Democrats have been successfully chased out of the party (at least the elected officials). In fact, it’s getting harder to find Democratic politicians who would even outlaw abortion on demand in the third trimester.
The most straightforward course forward for the Republicans is to move on from the abortion issue. Many see it as a side cultural war issue, anyway, when the Republicans can make huge gains focusing on the economy and education.
But the problem there is abortion is not a side issue. It is, in fact, one that gets to the heart of the American experiment.