Moskowitz: Florida is in play because of abortion ballot initiative

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) said he thinks Florida is “in play” for President Biden’s reelection campaign this November because of the abortion ballot initiative that could drive voter turnout.

Earlier this month, the Florida Supreme Court issued two rulings upholding the state’s 15-week abortion ban while also approving a ballot measure that would protect abortion access if voters pass it in November.

In upholding the current ban, the Florida high court ruled that the state’s constitutional right to privacy does not include abortion, and, therefore, paved the way for the separate six-week ban in the state to go into effect on May 1 — banning abortion before many women know they are pregnant.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “This Weekend,” Moskowitz said he expects voters to turn out to weigh in on the ballot initiative.

“I think it is in play because of the ballot initiatives. Make no mistake about it, without those ballot initiatives, I don’t think Florida is in play,” he said.

“I think Florida is now a red state. I mean, you’re talking about four years ago, Democrats had about a 200,000, you know, voter difference, more registered Democrats and Republicans. Now it’s 900,000 … Right, and so Republicans have invested a ton of money. This is what happens when you’re in the minority in the state and leadership for, you know, 35 years. It has repercussions. They’ve gerrymandered the seats. And so they control everything. The House, the Senate, the whole Cabinet,” he continued.

Moskowitz said he thinks the extreme six-week ban was a “mistake” strategically for Republicans.

“But they’ve made a mistake with the six-week ban. I mean, they’re to the right of Donald Trump, right, on the six-week ban. Right, like, who are they appealing to? The flat-earthers? I don’t understand who that was for, the six-week ban,” he added.

The Biden campaign also said it viewed Florida as “winnable” following the court’s decision, and said it aimed to invest heavily in flipping the state.

Florida’s new law will be one of the most restrictive in the country, and advocates say it will effectively amount to a complete ban: Six weeks’ gestation is before many women know they are pregnant, and the state will still require two in-person visits with the abortion provider 24 hours apart.

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