Biden’s abortion comments at debate fail to resonate with independent voters: focus group

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President Biden and former President Donald Trump traded jabs over the issue of abortion and their views on Roe v. Wade at Thursday night’s presidential debate, with independent voters who were part of a Fox News Digital focus group favoring the former president’s remarks on the subject.

Asked whether he supports ‘any legal limits on how late a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy,’ Biden said, ‘I support Roe v. Wade, which has three trimesters. First time is between a woman and a doctor. Second time is between a doctor and an extreme situation. The third time is between the doctor, I mean, between the woman and the state.

‘The idea that the politicians, that the founders wanted the politicians to be the ones making decisions about a woman’s health is ridiculous. No politician is making that decision. A doctor should be making those decisions. That’s how it should be run. That’s what you’re gonna do, and if I’m elected, I’m gonna restore Roe v. Wade.’

During Biden’s remarks, approval from independent voters in the focus group consistently ranked around 30% or lower and never reached 35% approval.

Responding to Biden, Trump said, ‘So that means he can take the life of the baby in the ninth month and even after birth, because some states — Democrat-run — take it after birth.’

‘So he’s willing to, as we say, rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month and kill the baby,’ Trump added. ‘Nobody wants that to happen.’

Independent voter response to Trump’s comments on Biden’s positioning on abortion soared to higher than 75% approval.

Biden interjected to deny Trump’s claim, saying it was ‘simply not true’ and that Roe v. Wade ‘does not provide for that.’

‘That’s not the circumstance. Only when the woman’s life is in danger, if she’s going to die — that’s the only circumstance in which that can happen,’ Biden said. ‘But we are not for late-term abortion, period.’

Amid the president’s interjection of Trump’s comments, approval from independent voters for what Biden had to say quickly started to trickle down.

Refutting Biden’s claim and garnering further support from independent voters who were part of the focus group, Trump said, ‘Under Roe v. Wade, you have late-term abortion. You can do whatever you want, depending on the state. … We don’t think that’s a good thing. We think it’s a radical thing.’

‘For 51 years, that was the law,’ Biden fired back. ‘Constitutional scholarship said it was the right way to go. Fifty-one years, and it was taken away because this guy put very conservative members on the Supreme Court. He takes credit for taking it away.’

Upon his speaking again, real-time independent voter approval of Biden’s remarks dropped significantly.

‘What’s he going to do? What’s he going to do, in fact, if — if the MAGA Republicans — he gets elected and the MAGA Republicans control of the Congress and they pass a universal ban on abortion, period, across the board, at six weeks, or seven, or eight or 10 weeks, something very, very conservative. Is he going to sign that bill? I’ll veto it. He’ll sign it,’ Biden said.

Trump also said during the debate that he ‘will not block’ abortion pills or abortion medication should he be elected president.

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, effectively ending recognition of a constitutional right to abortion and giving individual states the power to allow, limit or ban the practice altogether.

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