Abortion is an important issue not only in the presidential race this year but in statewide elections as well, with pro-choice candidates facing anti-choice opponents in California, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia, New York, Washington, Montana, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
In the Michigan US Senate race, polls show pro-choice Democratic candidate Debbie Stabenow leading anti-choice Republican candidate Spencer Abraham 50 to 44. Michigan’s Congressional District 8 race shows pro-choice Democratic candidate Dianne Byrum in a dead heat with Republican Mike Rogers. Byrum was trailing in earlier polls. Rogers is endorsed by Michigan Right to Life, and has stated that, if elected, he would stand by his belief “that abortion should be allowed only to protect the life of the mother.”
Polls show New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D) is leading in her race against Republican Gordon Humphrey, a former US Senator 49 to 41. In a recent debate, Shaheen criticized Humphrey’s position on civil rights, citing his opposition to the Americans with Disabilities Act and his past statement that people who lead “moral lives” do not contract AIDS. Shaheen also criticized Humphrey’s 1998 campaigning on behalf of Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, who advocated the murder of abortion doctors. The Concord Monitor reported that Shaheen’s assertion, “I’m pro-choice,” garnered one of the loudest and longest applauses of the debate.