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biden campaign insists florida is winnable after states top court upheld 15 week abortion ban

Biden campaign insists Florida is ‘winnable’ after state’s top court upheld 15-week abortion ban

President Biden’s re-election campaign claims Florida is now “winnable” for the Democrat after the state Supreme Court upheld a 15-week ban on most abortions — the party’s latest bid to ride the coattails of support for reproductive rights to election victories. Biden, 81, lost Florida by 3.4 percentage points to Trump, 77, in 2020 — the widest margin of any presidential vote in the state since 2004. Though the president doesn’t necessarily need to win Florida to reach the magic number of 270 electoral votes, the Biden campaign said they would be investing in the Sunshine State to establish “multiple pathways” to victory. “Make no mistake: Florida is not an easy state to win, but it is a winnable one for President Biden, especially given Trump’s weak, cash-strapped campaign, and serious vulnerabilities within his coalition,” campaign manger Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a memo. Chavez Rodriguez also noted that abortion will be on the ballot in November, telling reporters on Tuesday that “Donald Trump is directly to blame for the fact that abortion has now been effectively banned across the entire southeastern United States” due to his appointment of three conservative Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022. The Florida Supreme Court ruled Monday that the right to privacy does not extend to abortion, allowing a 15-week restriction signed in April 2022 by Gov. Ron DeSantis to go into effect. The ruling also allowed a separate 6-week ban enacted in April of last year to take effect within 30 days with exceptions for rape, incest, medical emergencies and some “fetal anomalies.” However, the court also ruled in a separate case that voters can decide in November whether or not to approve a ballot measure guaranteeing the right to abortion — allowing the opportunity to effectively overturn both laws. Under Florida law, the ballot measure needs 60% support to be approved, rather than the usual simple majority. Beyond the abortion controversy, the Biden campaign argued DeSantis’ controversial education policies and the 155,000 Republican primary voters who backed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley after she had already dropped out will give them a leg up against Trump. “We definitely see Florida in play and unlike Donald Trump, you know, we have multiple pathways to 270 that we’ve been able to keep open,” Chavez Rodriguez told reporters. In all, Florida has voted Republican in eight of the last 11 presidential elections, only going Democrat for Bill Clinton in 1996 and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 — and Biden faces an uphill climb to change that trend. Once a battleground state, Florida has hemorrhaged about 1 million registered Democrats since 2020. DeSantis won his 2022 re-election by nearly 20 points, the largest Republican gubernatorial margin in the state’s modern history. A March poll conducted by St. Pete Polls showed Trump beating Biden 48% to 42%, a significant margin given polling has the candidates neck-and-neck overall in the general election. Biden’s camp maintained that their focus on reaching out to minority communities in the state, along with ads and campaign stops — including visits by Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff — will push the president over the edge. “Winning Florida also requires the ability to mobilize Florida’s large and diverse communities of color across the state, including Hispanic voters, Black voters, and young voters. The President’s agenda and platform of fighting for freedoms, lowering costs, and creating jobs are resonant among these communities, and Team Biden-Harris is making voters of color a centerpiece of its campaign strategy,” the memo read. Trump has dodged publicly specifying what abortion restrictions he would support, but has called DeSantis’ six-week ban a “terrible thing and a terrible mistake.” The Trump campaign did not respond to an inquiry from The Post.

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