President Joe Biden delivers a speech during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Phoenix Awards on September 23, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

With poll numbers hovering below 40% and surveys suggesting he has issues communicating with Black voters, many pundits proclaimed the downfall of President Joe Biden in the run-up to Tuesday’s elections. Yet, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was reelected, the constitutional amendment protecting choice passed in Ohio and the Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin lost both chambers in the state legislature. The ‘predicted’ demise of the current president shifted to the Republican Party commiserating over their defeats.

There are 362 days remaining until the 2024 Presidential Elections and on a call with the Biden-Harris team, they are moving ahead as they promote their agenda of inclusivity, abortion rights, a thriving economy while beating back extremism from the far right.

“You see days, weeks, months of breathless predictions, how terrible things are going to be for Joe Biden followed by an election day with historic victories followed by the same ramp up at the same unrelenting negative coverage,” said Michael Tyler, communications director with the Biden campaign. “So, you think that maybe after this same cycle keeps repeating itself, we might want to actually take a look at the most significant data that we have at our disposal: which is how people are actually voting.”

Messaging around Abortion Rights

It does not matter if the state is “red” or “blue”, abortion is a winning issue. It flew in the face of many in the legacy media and political consultants believing it was a wedge issue that would divide the center and the hard left among the Democratic Party. Despite the defeat, the Republican Party continued to hammer home their beliefs.

During Wednesday night’s debate in Miami, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Tim Scott each battled for television time as each candidate supported various versions of national abortion bans. There were suggestions of federal bans at fifteen weeks, However, it was Haley that had the most nuanced view on abortion.

Haley categorized abortion as a “personal issue for every woman and every man.”

“As much as I’m pro-life, I don’t judge anyone for being pro-choice,” she said. 

“It’s going to take sixty Senate votes, a majority of the House and a president to sign it,” Haley said. “No Republican president can ban abortions anymore than a Democratic president can ban these state laws.”

Meanwhile, the other candidates advocated for a strict ban.

While Republicans focused on their quest to ban abortions, the Biden-Harris team cited data that says 70% of Hispanic voters, more than 80% of Black voters, and 82% of voters under the age of 30 voted to protect a woman’s right to choose in the state of Ohio. Democrats firmly believe this is an issue they can fundamentally run on and win in 2024.

In the post-Dobbs world, Virginia is the last Southern state that has abortion rights. With Virginia voters giving the State Senate and House of Delegates to Democrats, it scuttled the supposed presidential plans Governor Youngkin had, while affirming bodily autonomy for women. That is no small feat as every single race was close and the Biden-Harris campaign endorsed twenty-three state legislator candidates. 

Governor Beshear in Kentucky ran an ad which featured a teenager regarding abortion rights. She said, “This is to you, Daniel Cameron. To tell a 12-year-old girl she must have the baby of her stepfather who raped her is unthinkable.”

The Republicans’ messaging around abortion suggesting Democrats support infanticide (which is illegal), has largely fallen on deaf ears. It also shows messaging must be clear and succinct.

“And it just continues to prove our theory of the case when it comes to our eventual opponent that MAGA extremism is toxic at the ballot box and restricts Republicans’ path to 270,” said Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...