MENDHAM TWP. – “See you in ROEvember.”
That was the message on a T-shirt worn the other night by Amalia Duarte, the Morris County Democratic chair. She was not alone.
A handful of others wore shirts displaying the same message as county Dems gathered for a barbecue in the Brookside section of this Morris County town.
Nothing subtle about the message.
Democrats think, or perhaps hope, that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will drive women and other pro-choice individuals to the polls in three months.
It’s up to women to vote and to make sure other women vote as well is how one speaker put it.
There is some logic here.
Many voters take part in presidential elections, but for some reason, ignore the midterms. So, anything that drives turnout in your favor can be greatly beneficial. And in this case, it would be beneficial to Tom Malinowski, who is trying to hold his CD-7 seat in the face of a challenge by Republican Tom Kean Jr. The new map has given Republicans a 17,000 registration advantage.
Democrats hope to confront that by winning over unaffiliated and maybe even some Republican voters dismayed by the conservative Supreme Court’s overturning of abortion rights. We have seen passion brewing at numerous pro-choice rallies around the state.
Republicans know this, but at least outwardly, are not overly concerned.
In recent chats with those attending GOP gatherings this summer, the sentiment is clear. Inflation and high gas prices are more of a concern for most people than abortion.
That’s not a bad argument.
And it is one that Republicans challenging incumbent Democrats are continuing to make.
Paul DeGroot in CD-11 is linking his opponent Mikie Sherrill to “empty shelves” and “soaring food prices.”
Over in CD-5, Frank Pallotta says “prices are on the rise, families are barely scraping by and supply chain issues still linger.”
And in CD-7. Kean’s Facebook page is highlighting how prices are rising for a wide variety of goods and services. Most recently, he was talking about potato chips – up nearly a dollar a bag. A week or so ago, in a fascinating historic touch, Kean mentioned firewood. Who knows? Typewriter ribbons may be next.
In a more serious vein, a possible problem for this line of attack is that inflation may be ebbing. After all, the most visible sign of inflation – gas prices – have been dropping for the past month, albeit slightly. That is how supply and demand works.
At the same time, no one knows what the economy will look like in ROEvember.
But one thing is clear – the June 24 court ruling is not going to change. And that is the point of the shirts.