Women voters have long been viewed as the key to the election, and the coming fight over the Supreme Court gives both Trump and Biden fresh ammunition to make their cases to the small pool of undecided women that could make a difference in battlegrounds states such as North Carolina, Minnesota and elsewhere.
Waiting for President Donald Trump to speak at a campaign rally in North Carolina on Saturday, Paulette Fittshur was quick to express her sympathy for the family of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Still, she viewed Ginsburg’s passing as divine providence.
“It was God’s perfect timing in this election,” said Fittshur, 59, a resident of Leland, North Carolina who plans to vote for Trump. “It’s a golden opportunity for conservatives.”
As news of Ginsburg’s death reverberated throughout the country, supporters of Trump and his opponent in the Nov. 3 election, Democrat Joe Biden, were adjusting to a presidential race that had suddenly been reframed around a Supreme Court vacancy.
For Republicans like Fittshur, the open seat on the high court presents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to abolish the constitutional right to abortion. For Democrats, it was a new, urgent reason to vote Trump out of office in a year already marked by a pandemic, economic upheaval and protests over racial injustice.
Both campaigns began fundraising over the Supreme Court vacancy on Saturday, less than 24 hours after Ginsburg’s death from pancreatic cancer. The loss of the longtime liberal icon leaves the high court split between five conservatives and just three liberals.
As we await Trump’s new nominee (“a woman” he promised) Democratic interest groups are prepping for war, largely over the very real threat to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case that established abortion as a constitutional right. “Everybody understands that the Supreme Court and this election are now one and the same,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion-rights advocacy group.