Election Updates: As the debate nears, Biden campaign stresses Trump’s role in overturning Roe to mark anniversary. (2024)

Through advertising, campaign events and news conferences, Democrats at every level of the party are fanning out across the country, working to remind voters that it was justices nominated by Mr. Trump who helped overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Donald Trump is the sole person responsible for this nightmare,” President Biden said in a statement on Monday, also filming a video for social media. “My message to Americans is this: Kamala and I are fighting like hell to get your freedom back.”

The messaging push is unfolding during a tight presidential race, as Mr. Biden confronts weak approval ratings and the coalition that propelled his 2020 victory shows signs of fraying.

As they seek to reinvigorate their voters, Democrats are embracing variations of arguments that have fueled other victories in the past two years: that the Republican Party is ever more extreme and infringing, to an extraordinary degree, on some of the most personal health care decisions Americans can make.

“Donald Trump hand-picked three members of the United States Supreme Court because he intended for them to overturn Roe v. Wade — and as he intended, they did,” Vice President Kamala Harris said at a campaign event on Monday in College Park, Md. “In the case of the stealing of reproductive freedom from the women of America, Donald Trump is guilty.”

She was also expected to speak in Phoenix to “remind voters that Donald Trump is responsible for overturning Roe and the chaos that has followed,” and to “highlight the threat a second Trump presidency would pose to reproductive freedom nationwide,” according to the Biden campaign.

Her husband, Doug Emhoff, was headed to Flint and Clawson, Mich., with a similar message, and top Biden surrogates around the nation seized on the issue as they seek to frame the contrast in the election.

“It’ll be a binary choice on who’s going to restrict your rights,” Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota, who is the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said in an interview on Sunday. “This will just be a narrative of their extremism, but this one is baked in because it’s real. It’s not theoretical.”

Mr. Trump has said he is “proudly the person responsible” for overturning Roe v. Wade — a line Democrats are eager to highlight — and has suggested that, if elected, he would allow states to prosecute women who violate abortion restrictions. He has also said he believes abortion policy should be left to the states, disappointing some on the right.

“Some states will be more conservative and some will be more liberal,” Karoline Leavitt, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, said in a statement, but Mr. Trump “supports the rights of individuals to determine their laws.”

“President Trump also strongly supports ensuring women have access to the care they need to create healthy families, including widespread access to IVF, birth control, and contraception, and he always will,” she added.

Democrats successfully deployed messaging around abortion rights in critical races during the 2022 midterm elections a few months after Roe was overturned and in a number of special elections since.

This year, campaigns including Mr. Biden’s are highlighting women’s personal experiences with abortion bans championed by Republicans.

On Monday, the Biden campaign released a television ad highlighting the experience of Kaitlyn Joshua, who said in the spot that when she had a miscarriage early in pregnancy, she was turned away from two Louisiana emergency rooms, “a direct result of Donald Trump overturning Roe v. Wade.”

An advocacy group started by Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois also announced a digital ad effort aimed at swing and independent women in Arizona, Florida and Nevada, highlighting the health risks facing pregnant women in the post-Roe era. The House Democratic campaign arm is running mobile billboards in five competitive districts, blaring positive comments that Republican incumbents made about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision overturning Roe.

And major abortion rights groups are also mobilizing.

Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations said they planned to spend $40 million this election cycle. Planned Parenthood Federation of America also joined a coalition of other abortion rights and progressive groups, which plan to raise and spend $100 million to devise a federal strategy aimed at clawing back abortion rights.

In the two years since Roe fell, abortion rights organizations have focused on combating state-level restrictions in court and promoting ballot initiatives to enshrine abortion rights at the state level, along with engaging in key campaigns.

Democrats are also arguing that a second Trump administration would go further in restricting abortion rights and access by imposing sweeping new federal restrictions on the procedure.

Last week, Senator Tina Smith, a Democrat from Minnesota, introduced legislation that would repeal the Comstock Act, a Civil War-era statue that abortion rights supporters worry could be used to ban abortion medication — even in states where it remains legal.

Ms. Smith, a former Planned Parenthood executive, said the law offered a powerful argument for Democrats, underscoring the contrast between a second term for Mr. Biden or one for Mr. Trump.

“It’s such a clear choice on the issue of abortion rights,” she said. “Understanding how a future Trump administration could use the Comstock Act makes this a salient issue in our state too, where people might they think they are safe.”

Representative Pat Ryan, a Democrat running in a swing district in New York, said his party should explain Comstock as a “hidden ticking time bomb” for Mr. Trump. Mr. Ryan, who won his seat with an aggressive embrace of abortion rights, is encouraging his fellow Democrats to lean into Comstock and the future threats it may pose to abortion access.

But in this election, Americans are weighing a broad range of other considerations, too, and polls show that on a number of key issues — though not abortion policy — voters say that Mr. Trump would do a better job than Mr. Biden.

“Polling has consistently shown Biden and the Democrats already have an issue advantage on abortion, and yet Trump continues to lead in the battleground states,” Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster, said. “They will certainly lean in on abortion, but unless Democrats find a way to puncture Trump’s legacy on the economy, they will continue to struggle.”

Voters are also assessing the personal characteristics of Mr. Biden, 81, the oldest American president in history, and Mr. Trump, 78, who is the first American president convicted of a crime.

Many of these issues are likely to come up at their debate on Thursday, the first of the general-election campaign.

Election Updates: As the debate nears, Biden campaign stresses Trump’s role in overturning Roe to mark anniversary. (2024)


Who won the debate Trump vs. Biden? ›

Trump was also the clear winner of the debate when we asked debate watchers to directly compare the two candidates' performances. Sixty percent said that Trump performed best, while only 21 percent said Biden performed best. Nineteen percent said they didn't know.

When was the first presidential debate? ›

The first general election presidential debate was 1960 United States presidential debates, held on September 26, 1960, between Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, at CBS's WBBM-TV in Chicago. It was moderated by Howard K.

Where are the presidential debates in 2024? ›

Debate list
2024 United States presidential election debates
No.Date and timeLocation
1June 27, 2024 9:00 p.m. EDTAtlanta, Georgia
2September 10, 2024TBD
3September 16, 2024 9:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m. EDTSan Marcos, Texas
4 more rows

How many people watched the CNN debate in 2024? ›

51 million viewers tuned in to CNN's presidential debate with Biden and Trump. Guests at the Old Town Pour House watch the debate between President Joe Biden and presumptive Republican nominee former President Donald Trump on June 27, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois.

What is 538? ›

(Learn how and when to remove this message) 538, originally rendered as FiveThirtyEight, is an American website that focused on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging in the United States.

Has there ever been a presidential debate without an audience? ›

This Is the First Presidential Debate Without an In-Person Audience Since 1960. John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon were the last presidential candidates to debate with no live audience during a general election.

Who was the first president to be televised? ›

On April 30, 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the first appearance on television by a sitting president.

What debate between president's of the USA was the first ever to be televised? ›

The typical answer to that question is 1960, Kennedy v. Nixon. In fact, the first televised debate occurred four years earlier, when Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson challenged incumbent Republican president Dwight Eisenhower—but those two men did not appear in the debate.

Where is the 2024 Democratic? ›

It is scheduled to be held August 19 to 22, 2024, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Who was the first elected Democrat? ›

Andrew Jackson was the seventh president (1829–1837) and the first Democratic president. The Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party.

Where is President debate held? ›

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump took the debate stage at CNN's Atlanta studios on Thursday for their first showdown of this election cycle.

Who won the presidential debate in Fox? ›

During the debate and after, LiveNOW from FOX asked viewers in an unscientific poll who they think won based on their performance, and over 79,000 people weighed in. An overwhelming majority (93.7%) voted for Trump over Biden (6.30%).

What did the polls say after the first presidential debate? ›

For instance, Democratic-aligned pollster Data for Progress released a national survey conducted the day after the debate that found Trump ahead of Biden 48 percent to 45 percent, whereas an early May poll from the same outfit had Biden ahead 47 percent to 46 percent.

How many people watched the debate? ›

The much-anticipated debate on Thursday night between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump drew an estimated 51.27 million viewers to the CNN presentation, Nielsen and CNN reported on Friday.

When was the last presidential election? ›

The 2020 United States presidential election was the 59th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.


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