Opinion | Don’t Believe the Hype About Abortion

There’s a tendency in politics to ascribe success and failure to one thing when it’s really more complicated. That has been the case with most coverage of last week’s elections. “Abortion issues burn GOP” screamed ABC News. “Democrats see big wins” shouted Roll Call, which said “access to abortion” was “front and center.”

The key example offered for this line of reasoning was Virginia’s state legislative elections, in which Democrats held the Senate, losing only one seat, and flipped the House by picking up three. Vox’s Rachel Cohen described the results in Virginia and elsewhere as “a resounding victory for Democrats and abortion rights supporters.” But is holding a 21-19 majority in the Senate and a 51-49 majority in the House really a resounding victory?

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