Noah Brandt writes on the decision of the Democratic Attorneys General Association to make abortion on demand a litmus test for any future endorsements:
President Donald Trump likes to say he’s going to win so much, you’ll get tired of winning. Maybe Democrats have taken the president too literally.
The Democratic Attorneys General Association is leading the charge to excise all abortion moderates from the good graces of the party. It announced it will not endorse or assist any candidates who do not support unfettered abortion access.
While state AGs may not seem incredibly relevant, they are an important stepping stone toward governors’ mansions in many states. So, considering the Democrats’ weak bench for plausible candidates in red states, the decision not to compete for attorney general is significant. That is what national Democrats are doing by supporting only abortion absolutists in pro-life states — they are deciding not to compete. …
Consider this state-level purity test in light of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ recent reelection. In a time of increasing state polarization, it should have been a huge victory for the Democrats to retain the governor’s mansion in ruby-red Louisiana. But it wasn’t the Democratic Party that ultimately secured Edwards’ reelection.
What makes Edwards different from the sea of losing Democratic nominees in a myriad of red states? It doesn’t take a political scientist to figure it out. He won on the strength of his abortion position.
Edwards was running against a well-funded, if somewhat uninspiring, Republican challenger. Edwards won a tough race, exceeding expectations and clearly illustrating how a Democrat can win in a challenging atmosphere. And he did so by defying what is now the litmus test of another official organ of his party.
The imposition of this state-level purity tests for Democrats ensures that the national party will become less representative of American attitudes in many states. It will contribute to a growing rift between the roughly two-thirds of states that are broadly pro-life and the remaining states which aren’t simply permissive of practices that most Americans view as extreme, but are increasingly moving to enshrine as a publicly-funded right. Why would the Democratic Party want fewer leaders like Gov. John Bel Edwards in states they would otherwise certainly lose?