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Biden is campaigning in Florida a week before a new abortion ban takes effect

President Biden boards Air Force One in New Castle, Del., on April 22. On Tuesday, he's campaigning in Florida.
Julia Nikhinson
AFP via Getty Images
President Biden boards Air Force One in New Castle, Del., on April 22. On Tuesday, he's campaigning in Florida.

A Democratic presidential candidate hasn't won Florida since 2012, but President Biden's reelection campaign says a ballot question on reproductive rights could buoy his chances there in November.

Earlier this month, the state's Supreme Court allowed a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy — a ban that takes effect on May 1. However, the court also said that voters would decide in November whether to amend the state's constitution to allow for abortions up to about 24 weeks.

Biden is campaigning in Tampa today, and plans to lay out "the stakes of this election for reproductive freedom across the entire country," his campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez said in a memo.

The ballot measure in Florida could help draw people to the polls in November — people who the campaign said may be persuaded to also vote for Biden.

"We've got staff on the ground, you've seen our investments begin to pop up in the state of Florida," campaign communications director Michael Tyler told reporters. "It is one of many pathways that we have to 270 electoral votes, and we're going to take it very, very seriously."

Florida is rated as likely to go Republican in November

At a fundraiser in Florida in January, Biden told donors, "I think we can win Florida." But it's a long shot. NPR's new electoral college map analysis rates Florida as likely to go Republican.

Still, Biden's campaign is seizing an opportunity to draw a contrast with his Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, on an issue they expect will be decisive in 2024, pointing to polling data in key swing states indicating a strong majority of voters oppose restrictive abortion bans.

In Tampa, Biden plans to "forcefully advocate for reproductive freedom and call out Donald Trump's abortion bans, as he's been doing since Roe was overturned," Tyler told reporters. "It's going to stand in stark contrast to Trump, who, when he's out on the stump every single day, is bragging about the role that he played in overturning Roe."

Trump often boasts about his role in naming three Supreme Court justices who formed the majority on the court that overturned Roe v. Wade. But he also has said abortion policy should be left to the states while implying that some states have gone too far.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.