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Abortion ruling set to shift 2022 landscape

First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Anti-abortion demonstrators and abortion rights supporters protest outside the Supreme Court on June 25, 2022.
Anti-abortion demonstrators and abortion rights supporters protest outside the Supreme Court on June 25, 2022.Hannah Beier for NBC News

WASHINGTON — If it’s Monday ... Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning a nationwide right to abortion continues to jolt the country and its politics. ... President Biden, attending G-7 meeting in Germany, hears virtually from Ukraine’s Zelenskyy. ... The U.S. plans to provide Ukraine with surface-to-air-missile system, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports. ... Donald Trump endorses Darren Bailey in GOP’s Illinois gubernatorial primary. ... More than 1 million voters switch to GOP, per the Associated Press. ... And it’s one day until the last big Primary Day until August.

But first: Big, abrupt change doesn’t happen that often in this country. 

Yet when it does, it usually produces a political backlash for the side that’s most responsible for that change. 

Think of the Civil Rights Era (which led to the Nixon and Reagan presidencies). Or Barack Obama and a diversifying America (which led to Trump). Or Trump’s presidency (which led to Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress).  

But in addition to being abrupt, what makes Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning a nationwide right to abortion especially susceptible to the political boomerang is that it’s swimming against the tide of public opinion. 

Going back to the 1980s, Americans’ support for the Roe v. Wade decision has been remarkably steady — in the high 50s, low 60s — and a new NPR/PBS/Marist poll finds 56% of the public opposing the Supreme Court’s decision, versus 40% supporting it. 

Conservatives’ 50-year campaign to upend Roe was an inside game; they never won public opinion. 

And now we’re on a collision course for the midterms — an unpopular Democratic president battling record inflation, versus an abortion ruling that’s upended a 50-year status quo in the country. 

For months, we’ve been waiting to see if the high court overturned Roe to evaluate its impact on the midterms. 

Well, it’s no longer an if. 

And now that the battlelines have been fully drawn, our previous expectations for these midterms — lower turnout, less enthusiasm from Democrats, a cycle 100% dominated by pocketbook issues — need to be recalibrated. 

A lot has changed. Abruptly. 

Data Download: The number of the day is … 18

That’s the number of states where the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe. v. Wade ushered in abortion bans, per NBC’s reporting

Thirteen of those states had so-called “trigger laws,” or bans on abortion that had been on the books waiting to go into effect in case Roe was overturned. The rest had pre-Roe abortion bans in place. Not all of these laws go into effect immediately — the implementation of the bans span from instant to around a month. 

Other numbers to know:

$200 billion: How much the U.S. is planning to spend, via public and private funds, on global infrastructure projects, Biden announced at the G-7 summit on Sunday.

$120 million: The potential cost for New York for holding two separate primaries in June and August, per Bloomberg Government.   

14: The number of House Republicans who voted for the bipartisan gun safety legislation on Friday.

59%: The portion of U.S. adults in a new CBS News/YouGov online survey who disapprove of the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion. 

65%: The portion of U.S. adults in a new, separate CBS News/YouGov online survey who said they are concerned about their ability to afford day-to-day things. 

1 million: The number of voters who switched to the Republican Party in the last year, the Associated Press reports.

Tweet of the day

Midterm roundup: Illinois intrigue

The Illinois race for governor is already the most expensive race on the airwaves since the close of the 2020 cycle (that includes the Virginia gubernatorial race last year and every other race on the calendar this fall). And this weekend marked yet another twist in the election: Former President Donald Trump’s decision to endorse state Sen. Darren Bailey.  

It’s not just that Trump decided to endorse Bailey days before the primary. It’s that Democrats (who saw Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin as their top opponent) spent tens of millions of dollars trying to sink Irvin, who himself had been propped up by $50 million in spending from hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin. 

Bailey had already been surging in limited public polling before the endorsement. But Trump wading in creates even more intrigue ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Elsewhere on the trail: 

Missouri Senate: A new super PAC reportedly funded by Missouri-based GOP donors launched an ad Friday attacking former Gov. Eric Greitens ahead of the state’s GOP Senate primary in August. 

Colorado Secretary of State: The New York Times profiles Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters ahead of her pivotal GOP primary in the race for secretary of state. 

Arizona-06: Democratic state Rep. Daniel Hernández Jr. is out with a new ad on fighting gun violence, a spot that includes then-President Barack Obama praising his action as an intern for former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., when she was shot in 2011. 

Illinois-07: President Joe Biden endorsed Democratic Rep. Danny Davis over the weekend. Davis is facing community organizer Kina Collins, who is backed by Justice Democrats, in a primary Tuesday.

Illinois-15: Days before her member-v.-member primary, GOP Rep. Mary Miller thanked Trump at a rally for a “victory for white life,” a comment her campaign says came after she misread a line that was supposed to be about the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling. Her primary opponent, Rep. Rodney Davis, used the comments to highlight Miller’s decision toinvoke Adolf Hitler last year

Nevada-03: Politico reports that Democratic Rep. Susie Lee, who faces GOP lawyer April Becker in what’s expected to be a competitive race, is going up with a new TV and digital buy of at least $500,000 centered on abortion

Ad watch: Abortion access in Washington Senate 

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is making abortion access a key feature of her campaign.

Over the weekend, the senator released two TV ads, one highlighting her commitment to protecting abortion access and another highlighting her Republican opponent’s anti-abortion stance.

“You think women’s reproductive health care is safe here in Washington? Not with Mitch McConnell’s handpicked candidate in the U.S. Senate, Tiffany Smiley,” an OB-GYN says in one ad.

In the other ad, Murray makes a direct-to-camera appeal, promising she “won’t stop fighting until we guarantee reproductive freedom for every American.”

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world 

Every branch of the U.S. military is struggling to meet their recruiting goals for the year, NBC News’ Courtney Kube reports.

Over the weekend, President Joe Biden signed landmark gun legislation, which was negotiated and written by a bipartisan team of senators and passed both chambers of Congress last week.