A week after voters in scarlet Kansas lined up for abortion rights, a Minnesota Democrat hopes his special election on Tuesday will provide evidence that his party can use the issue to its advantage, even in Republican territories.
Democratic nominee Jeff Ettinger has championed his support for abortion rights as he campaigns for the special election for a House seat in southern Minnesota.
The election to the First Congressional District will fill the seat of Jim Hagedorn, a Republican who died of cancer in February. On the ballot in the Republican district are Brad Finstad, a Republican and former Department of Agriculture official under the Trump administration, and Mr. Ettinger, a Democrat and the former chief executive of Hormel Foods.
The two candidates have become entangled over the economy and agricultural issues in the largely rural district. But in the weeks since the Supreme Court overthrew Roe v. Wade, Mr. Ettinger has turned up the volume of his posts about abortion. Mr. Ettinger is in favor of passing legislation that would codify Roe v. Wade into federal law and Mr. Finstad is against abortion. Mr Finstad’s campaign website states that he will “fight to protect all unborn human beings”.
“There’s a big difference between Jeff Ettinger and the Republican nominee, so we definitely emphasized that bit,” said Jeanne Poppe, Mr. Ettinger’s campaign chair.
Messages on the campaigns Twitter and last week’s Facebook pages list “reproduction rights” and “abortion rights.”
Last week, Kansas voters overwhelmingly voted not to remove the right to abortion from the state’s constitution, which Ms Poppe said confirmed the message of the Ettinger campaign.
Mr Finstad’s campaign does not think abortion is the problem that will move the needle in the polls. “It hasn’t really brought in many voters,” said David Fitzsimmons, general adviser to Brad Finstad’s campaign. “Voters seem to be talking about the economy, inflation, gas prices.”