There's a lot to unpack in this MSNBC focus group with Georgia Republicans, but let's start with the biggest: Voters were immediately turned off by a total abortion ban promised by Gov. Brian Kemp. Here's how they reacted:
"Let's hear from David Perdue now," Elise Jordan said.
When that ruling comes down, if I were governor, I would call in the legislature under special session and ask them to ban abortions in Georgia.
"Does that make you more likely to support David Perdue for governor in the primary?"
Voters said no, or less likely.
"Why does it make you less likely?"
"My body, my choice. Not the government's."
"Marty, you're very pro-life, so why does that make you less likely?" Jordan said.
"It's like I tell every lady I speak with about this topic. Women get this much of a voice on the topic. Men should have this much voice on the topic. And I think reasonable limits make sense. Viable outside the womb at 20 weeks, I think you can answer to the guy upstairs if it happens after that. A hard 'no abortions at all' is not a position I would take."
(Marty believes fetuses are viable at 20 weeks. They're not.)
"So would anyone vote for Stacey Abrams over David Perdue?"
They all said no, "never."
"If you have Hollywood coming back down and going door-to-door like they did last time, that was shameful. Anyway."
"What we heard today I thought was remarkable, especially on the abortion issue," Joe Scarborough said.
"I talked to somebody after I heard that Herschel Walker said no exception. If a 13-year-old girl is raped by a member of her family, no exception for rape or incest. We hear that out of, like, some of the most powerful governors in America. We're seeing this 'no abortion' effort -- fertilization in Louisiana. Yet, that was the one moment where everything just kind of stopped."
"Everything just stops when you have pro-life people, you have women who, again, consider themselves, quote, ultra MAGA, saying, my body, my choice. and the man wisely saying, you know what, why don't we step out of the way and let the women take care of it," Scarborough said.
"Answer upstairs if it is after 20 weeks. I'm sure that's shocking to a lot of MAGA Republican politicians."
"Well, that's the thing, Joe. You've spoken about this a lot. How the country pretty much is in the same place on abortion. it is reflected in the polling," Jordan said.
"They do not want third trimester abortions. but there's more nuance. On the right, you hear from people who describe themselves as pro-life, yet they want a rape exception, an incest exception. there are certain exceptions that they're okay with, and they don't want the government interfering.
"Then on the left, you have politicians who say that anything other than total abortion freedom and any abortion, any time, at any point during the birth process is okay, and that's really not where the majority of the country is."
So Elise, who are these Democratic politicians who say that anything other than total abortion freedom and "any abortion, any time, at any point" is okay? Are you referring to the tragic third-trimester abortions of much-wanted pregnancies caused by medical problems incompatible with life? Or necessary to save the life of the mother?
Sheesh. They just can't help themselves.
Anyway, focus groups in 2016 also found that GOP voters turned off to anti-abortion rhetoric Republicans, and consultants advised them to avoid talking about abortion. So you can be sure that Democrats will bring it up at any opportunity!