Sep 28, 2022 - News

Youngkin campaigns with Kemp, a fellow swing state Republican

Glenn Youngkin and Brian Kemp smiling for a photo

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, left, with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in Alpharetta, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Gov. Brian Kemp got reinforcements this week from a fellow swing state Republican: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

Driving the news: Youngkin stumped with Kemp in Alpharetta on Tuesday, making the case that pundits writing off states like his own as "too blue" have missed the issues voters care most about, namely inflation, crime and education.

What they're saying: Youngkin, pointing to his own upset victory in Virginia, told reporters that Democrats in swing states are "running away from these most important issues and spending all their time on candidly, abortion."

By the numbers: A recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll did not find abortion to be a top issue among those polled. Cost of living, threats to democracy and jobs and the economy ranked higher.

  • 48% said a position to protect abortion would make them more likely to vote for someone. 23% said it wouldn’t make a difference.

The other side: Democrats including Stacey Abrams have, however, continued to lean into abortion on the campaign trail. Abrams appeared with Planned Parenthood Action Fund CEO Alexis McGill Johnson over the weekend.

The intrigue: That leaning in recently garnered her criticism from Republicans. On a panel, she called the term "fetal heartbeat," used by Republicans to describe the state’s six-week abortion ban, "a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body."

  • She told Axios she doesn’t regret her wording.
  • "Sometimes the honest answer is awkward. It's uncomfortable and people don't like to hear it. But when politicians start manipulating information to rig an outcome, then we lose the trust of the very people we're trying to engage," she said.

Reality check: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has indeed said a “fetal heartbeat” does not exist until 17-20 weeks of gestation.

The bottom line: In response to a question about Abrams’ comments, Kemp, who led the 2019 push to pass Georgia's anti-abortion law, said Democrats are trying "to get Georgians distracted and get them to focus on something that quite honestly, is not what we're focused on."


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