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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are trying to attack Republican political candidates over abortion rights far from Texas — including libertarian states like New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: The strategy highlights the national resonance of the new Texas law banning abortions past six weeks. The Democratic Party sees an opening in next year's midterm elections to capitalize on voters’ opposition to it.

  • Both Nevada and "Live-Free-or-Die" New Hampshire also have female senators up for re-election in 2022.
  • The Democrats' ad campaigns have the potential to drive up turnout by women.

What we’re watching: Democrats are already releasing ads hitting Republicans for their record on choice in the hope of making an early impression on voters.

  • The New Hampshire Democratic Party has a digital ad, released Monday, that attempts to blame the state’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu, for the New Hampshire Executive Council’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • In the ad, titled "Laughing," the first text to appear on the screen references the Texas law.

In Nevada, Democrats are hitting Adam Laxalt, a Republican Senate primary candidate, by tying him to Dean Heller, who's running for governor, through their abortion rights comments.

The backdrop: Both states have a history of supporting abortion rights measures that Democrats intend to highlight.

  • In Nevada in 1990, over 60% of voters approved a ballot measure that reaffirmed allowing abortion up to 24 weeks. The law can only be changed by a “direct vote by the people,” meaning the legislature cannot amend it.
  • 65% of voters in the state consider themselves "pro-choice," according to a poll conducted over the summer by OH Insights.
  • The issue was a deciding factor in the 1990s in New Hampshire. Many credit the successful gubernatorial campaign of now-Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)with her highlighting her support for abortion rights against an anti-abortion Republican opponent.

What they’re saying: “I think that protecting women’s reproductive rights is fundamental to the Granite State,” Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, told Axios.

  • He added, “We are either No. 1 or close to it in support of abortion, support of a woman’s choice, and that is part of our DNA that government should not be involved in that question.”
  • Andy Orellana, a spokesperson for Nevada Democratic Victory, the coordinated campaign for Democrats in 2022, said, "With Nevada Republicans calling for extreme abortion bans like the one in Texas, Laxalt’s anti-choice record has only become more alienating to voters."

Go deeper: "Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law"

Go deeper

By the numbers: Virginia's early vote

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

At least 667,000 Virginians — over 3 1/2 times more than in all of 2017 — have submitted early ballots for the general election taking place next week, according to data from the Democratic data firm TargetSmart.

Why it matters: The state's bellwether governor's race is expected to be close. It's hard to read much from early vote counts, though, given Democrats have generally been more likely to vote early than Republicans, and early voting has become more accessible and popular only recently in the state.

Trump stars in both sides' ads

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios; Screenshots: Republican super PAC (top), Democratic Governors Association (bottom)

Donald Trump is a TV star again — in political ads being run by both parties.

Why it matters: Records show millions of dollars have been spent on ads invoking Trump's name nearly a year after he lost his re-election campaign. It's more evidence of how polarizing and motivating a figure the former president remains for Democrats and Republicans alike.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.

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