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How Roe v. Wade being overturned could impact midterm elections in Minnesota

With the 2022 midterm elections less than five months away, abortion rights will be an issue discussed in every race.

ST PAUL, Minnesota — The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday with less than five months to go before the 2022 midterm elections.

"This will be an issue that will be discussed in every race across the country and in Minnesota," said Kathryn Pearson, a University of Minnesota political science professor. 

The Supreme Court's decision throws a new dynamic into the Nov. 8 election. Voters in Minnesota will be deciding everything from the governor's race to all 201 seats in the House and Senate. 

"Voters on both sides will be mobilized. But this year, particularly voters who favor abortion rights. Typically, Republicans are more likely to consider the Supreme Court when voting," Pearson said. 

RELATED: Walz signs order to help shield abortion patients, providers

She went on to say, "In Minnesota, about two-thirds of the electorate favor Roe v. Wade or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade and so how that will play out in terms of its influence on vote choice remains to be seen in the 2022 elections but it will certainly be an issue that candidates on both sides will be talking about. I think because of that sort of public opinion advantage that Democrats have with voters favoring abortion, Democrats will be sure to talk about it in 2022." 

But midterm elections historically favor the party that is not in the White House. Pearson said in nearly every midterm election besides a couple exceptions, the president's party tends to lose seats. 

RELATED: SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade; Minnesota expects to become safe haven for abortion seekers

"They're a referendum on the president even though the president is not on the ballot and with Joe Biden having presidential approval around the low 40s, that gives Republicans a real opportunity in the 2022 midterm elections," Pearson said. 

Next door, Wisconsin's governor's race is expected to be one of the hardest fought in the country this year. At the Democratic Party Convention this weekend, Governor Tony Evers said he believes the court's decision will energize key independent voters to support him and other Democrats. 

"The incumbent governor, Democratic Governor Evers, is very vulnerable because once again national trends favor Republicans because Democrats control the White House. But again, abortion will be a topic that all of the candidates are talking about a lot," Pearson said. 

RELATED: In Wisconsin, Supreme Court ruling appears to revert state to 1849 abortion ban

Midterm elections are not as popular as presidential elections, even in states like Minnesota with some of the highest voter turnout rates. 

"Certainly in 2018, 2020, the suburbs in Minnesota have gotten more Democratic," Pearson said. "That said, there are a lot of suburban voters who are unhappy about the state of the economy, unhappy about inflation, and so turnout and vote choice in the suburbs will really be key for either party in 2022."

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