Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sign up for the AllSides Story of the Week Newsletter to receive this blog in your inbox every Thursday.

Similar to last year's midterms, the elections this week boiled down to three things: abortion, abortion, and abortion.

Since the Supreme Court sent the issue down to the state level with the overturning of Roe v. Wade last summer, abortion has dominated the narrative of state races across the country.

Tuesday was no different. From Virginia congressional elections to an Ohio referendum, the abortion debate took center stage.

Democrats and advocates for increased abortion access largely won out.

Democrats in Virginia took control of the House of Delegates while maintaining control of the State Senate. In Ohio, 56.6% of people voted in favor of enshrining a right to abortion in the state Constitution.

A writer in Vox (Left bias) attributed Democrats' "resounding victory" in states like Virginia directly to candidates campaigning on abortion access, arguing Americans across the political spectrum resonate with the messaging. "Evidence continues to mount that voters are willing to cross party lines when it comes to protecting access to reproductive health care. If abortion rights campaigners can continue to frame the issue in a nonpartisan way, their odds of success in the next round of ballot measures look good."

While few disagree that the overturning of Roe v. Wade has galvanized Democratic voters and spiked turnout, one Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) writer, examining election results since 2018, determined the GOP has "traded a once-winning coalition for a losing one" that can't compete with Democratic efforts. "Between the Democratic political machine and its new cadre of voters, Democratic turnout has thus exploded relative to its pre-2018 off-year election baseline, while Republican turnout has failed to keep up."

Did this "once-winning coalition" break apart further as a result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade? A writer in the Daily Beast (Left bias) determined the GOP is losing a reliable voter bloc in suburban women who "don’t want to be told what they can do with their bodies." The writer determines Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin's (R) efforts to thread the needle on abortion legislation were unsuccessful because "a ban is a ban, and voters, especially women, are making it clear to Republicans that they don’t see the difference as meaningful. Will Republicans finally take a hint and keep their policies away from women’s bodies or continue to get annihilated at the polls? The choice is theirs."

In the wake of two disappointing years for Republican candidates with pro-life stances, some deemed abortion to be a losing issue that Republicans should drop heading into 2024. But The National Review (Right bias) Editorial Board argued against pro-life pessimism, stating, "the fight for life in the democratic arena has barely begun" in the wake of the overturning. "In the long term, the pro-life movement needs to change many more hearts and minds of Americans to win a long-lasting victory across the country. Such change will likely involve seeking incremental gains and prudent legislative compromises."

Until next year...

Top words about the 2023 elections used more on each side of the media.
Analysis from Partisan Playground; Media Bias Ratings from AllSides

More from AllSides

  • Israel-Hamas War: We're tracking media coverage and flagging potential misinformation emerging from the conflict.
  • Media Bias Alert: Our bias analysis found NewsBreak has a Lean Left bias, as it predominantly curates from Left-Leaning media outlets.
  • Misinformation Watch: We broke down media coverage and conspiracy theories surrounding the Paul Pelosi attack.
  • Misinformation Watch: We analyzed Rep. James Comer's (R-KY) claim that President Joe Biden accepted "laundered money" from a China company.
  • Opinion from the Center: "It’s been almost 40 years since Washington accomplished anything of significance on immigration policy... That may be about to change."

More from the Left

Next for the GOP on Abortion: Minority Rule
Mother Jones (opinion)

"Vox populi is not good for the anti-abortion right. The same is true for many Republican policies. This gap between their desired legislation and actual voters feeds a popular talking point on the right: The US is a republic, not a democracy. Speaker Johnson often repeats this mantra in interviews and podcasts; he is fond of quipping that democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what’s for dinner."

More from the Right

Virginia, Ohio elections and abortion
The Washington Times (opinion)

"Those who are pro-life need to do a better job of portraying the other side as the real radicals. They mostly oppose any restrictions on abortion. Pro-lifers should continue to work to protect the lives of the unborn at earlier stages. Aren’t more than 60 million U.S. abortions since 1973 enough? Are people not concerned about the decline in America’s birthrate?"

More from the Center

Republicans Suffer Crushing Defeat in Transgender Battle

"Tuesday night suggested that the crusade against transgender students may not be as popular among Americans as Republicans believed two years ago. Virginia Democrats triumphed in statehouse elections, effectively shrinking Youngkin's power, and the majority of candidates endorsed by Moms for Liberty lost their school board elections."

See more big stories from the past week.