First on CBS News: Democratic Senate campaign arm running newspaper ads on abortion in 10 states

The Democratic Senate campaign arm is marking 100 days since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade by taking out full page ads in newspapers across ten Senate battleground states. It’s the latest push by Democratic campaign officials focused on abortion rights, which is still a top issue for voters heading into the 2022 midterms, now less than 40 days away.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) will run ads in the print editions of Sunday papers including The Arizona Daily Star, The Gwinnett Daily Post in Georgia, The Las Vegas Review Journal, The Union Leader in New Hampshire, The State College Centre Daily Times in Pennsylvania, The Wisconsin State Journal, The Sun Herald in North Carolina, The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio, and Colorado’s The Daily Camera on October 2. The ad will also run in the Sunday edition of the Miami Herald but at a future date.

The full-page ads read, “If Republicans Take The Senate, They’ll Ban Abortion Everywhere. Don’t Let Them.” with the DSCC webpage.

The latest CBS News Battleground Tracker found overturning of Roe made registered voters more likely to back a Democratic candidate to a Republican by a substantial  margin – 43% to 26%, with 31% saying it has no effect on their vote. Abortion is a make-or-break issue among most women voters. Seven in 10 said a candidate must agree with them on abortion to get their vote – more than other issues tested.

“For Americans of every political persuasion who value the freedom for women to make their own decisions about their health care, the stakes of protecting and expanding our Democratic Senate Majority in November have never been higher,” said DSCC spokesperson Nora Keefe.

Keefe also said, “Senate Republicans’ plan to ban abortion nationwide is on the ballot this November – and we are ensuring that it remains front and center for voters,” likely a reference to Senator Lindsey Graham’s recent proposal for a nationwide abortion ban at 15 weeks. It’s far from clear that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell would put that to a vote on the floor, should he be majority leader. In response to Graham’s ban, McConnell suggested Republicans might prefer to leave abortion to the states to decide. House GOP leaders similarly did not commit to putting that proposal to a vote, but House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s “Commitment to America” unveiled last week does vow that Republicans will “protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers.”

Across battleground states, Democratic Senate and House candidates have been running millions of dollars in television and digital ads on abortion. In Arizona, Senator Mark Kelly just this week released a new ad after a judge allowed a near-total abortion ban that dates back to 1901 to go into effect. His opponent, Republican Blake Masters, who scrubbed extreme anti-abortion language from his website after his primary, is running his own ads trying to paint Kelly as the extremist. A new Fox News poll showed 46% of registered voters in the state were angry about the overturning of Roe, while only 27% were happy about it.

In Pennsylvania, Senate candidate John Fetterman has been pressuring Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz to say where he stands on a federal abortion ban since Graham unveiled his proposal. Oz has not said how he would vote on such a ban if he were elected to the Senate. He has said he is pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother. In audio obtained by CBS News from a tele-townhall earlier this year, Oz called abortion murder. 

In North Carolina, Republican Senate candidate and current Rep. Ted Budd is one of the Republicans who signed on as a co-sponsor to the national abortion ban at 15 weeks, a stance slammed by his Democratic opponent in the Senate race, Cheri Beasley.

The round of newspaper ads is the latest in a series of efforts by the DSCC to reach voters where they are on this issue. The committee has been running television ads on this issue in multiple battleground states. It has also run digital ads including ones more recently warning about the Graham proposal on Facebook and Instagram.

Oct. 2 marks 100 days since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the landmark 1973 abortion decision. According to the Center of Reproductive Rights, which supports abortion rights, nearly 80 million people across 13 states have lost access to abortion in that time and at least 50 clinics have had to stop abortion services. 

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