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Voters in key states share top concerns heading into midterm elections

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(WASHINGTON) — As Election Day neared, voters in key battleground states spoke about what’s driving them to the polls after a long campaign.

Abortion, the economy and fears for American democracy were among the main concerns for voters ABC News spoke with over two weeks — from Oct. 17-31.

Abortion: GOP positions too extreme for some?

Michigan voter 78-year-old Ruth Rehberg said she remembered when women had to go into “black, dark rooms” for an abortion and had serious health complications if it were done incorrectly.

“It is criminal not to allow women to have control over their own bodies,” said Rehberg. ” How do I tell you … how truly important this is to all women. It’s truly more important than any other vote I’ve ever done.”

Michigan voter Rick Rainville stood on the side of the road holding an anti-Proposition 3 sign. Proposition 3 would enshrine abortion rights into the Michigan State constitution.

“I think we can do so much better by women than proving them practically the only option when they are in a tough, tough situation than to kill their own flesh and blood, and we’ve got to provide better solutions,” said Rainville.

Other Michiganders like Frances Janis, a Democrat, take a more moderate stance.

“I am not in charge of another woman’s right to do what she desires with her body,” said Janis. “That is her right to make decisions for her body and not the government’s right.”

Frank Cao from Rochester, Michigan, supported current Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and said Proposition 3 will pass and the abortion access issue will push people to vote.

“Clearly, events in Kansas and elsewhere have shown it’s not particularly popular with most citizens in this country,” said Cao.

Roquesha O’Niel said that not only does she support Proposition 3, but she has been lobbying in front of businesses to encourage more votes.

“I’m encouraging my friends, my family my neighbors, I’m making phone calls I’m meeting people in grocery lines,” said O’Niel.

Abortion does not register as an issue for some Republicans who said they are focused instead on the economy.

“Abortion doesn’t even rank my top five [most important topics],” said Michigan voter Jenny Evans. “I just don’t think it’s a realistic thing that people are debating right now.”

Economy blues? Dems blame no one, GOP blames Democrats

Democrat voters seemed hesitant to blame any party for rising inflation, but GOP voters almost unanimously blamed Democrats.

“Whether you’re Democrat or Republican, you still got to deal with the economy and inflation all the same, so I wouldn’t really put it on a particular party,” said Virginia voter Jeffery Overton.

Janis said she doesn’t blame anyone for the rising costs.

“[Inflation] hasn’t deterred me from choosing who I vote for. Because inflation happens because of extenuating circumstances at times and COVID was the perfect crisis,” said Janis.

“The economy is not the Democrats fault or the Republicans fault. If it were so, then why do 13 other countries have higher inflation rates than we have?” said Democrat Carl Tate of Arizona.

Other Democrats said they blame corporate greed for driving up prices.

“Instead of saying inflation say corporate profits,” said Whitmer supporter Barbra Spiece. “It’s proven. Even Kroger is making record profits and we are all paying more at Krogers.”

“I don’t think anyone is talking about the root causes which you know like corporate greed is a lot of it,” said Cao. “Politicians on both sides are really failing.”

Independent Michigan voter Donna Bourgoin said she does not like any of the candidates running in the midterm and wishes she had more options. She said she has not decided who she will vote for for governor.

“The high prices, the gas prices, the prices of food, I know my parents are a little bit elderly and they don’t drive anywhere because they can’t afford the gas,” said Bourgoin. “The food prices are out of their reach almost now.”
Both red and blue voters fear losing

An 86-year-old Democratic voter said that she is afraid for American democracy after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

“The insurrection — it’s unbelievable that that could happen in this country. And right now, Arizona is kind of in that,” said Shirley Tounge. “It needs to be challenged and people need to know, we can lose our democracy.”

Tate said that he thinks this election is the most in danger democracy has ever been in for the United States.

“I don’t even think the Revolutionary War was as bad to our democracy as this is,” said Tate. “This is very scary. I have four daughters, six grandchildren. And I’m fearful that if we don’t make this vote happen in the correct way and their future lives, in a very perilous situation.”

Two other Arizonian seniors in their 70s said that they are relying on young people to vote.

“If we have any hope that that young people to see their future with us, so for our kids and our grandkids that’s what we’re here for,” said Martha Todd.

One of those Arizonian youth is David Ramirez, 20, who voted for Joe Biden in the last election.

“It’s kind of sad seeing that they’re delusional; into thinking that the election was stolen/rigged,” Ramirez said of some Republicans. “We’re a democracy. We’re a fair democracy … it kind of shows a character that they’re not willing to accept and accept the defeat.”

Sun City West, Arizona, voter Nancy Shubert said that she lives in a Republican area and believes some of those claiming to be Christians don’t practice what they preach.

“I’m worried about the downfall of our country, the downfall of democracy,” said Shubert. “We’re just losing everything. As women, we’re losing all our rights. Anybody who is not white Christian mainstream, is is considered persona non grata.”

Republican voter Tom Macigewski said that he is supporting Republican candidate for Michigan governor Tutor Dixon because he wants to preserve the American dream for his grandchildren.

“We have to take the state back,” said Macigewski. “We have to get rid of the programming that’s going on with our citizens. The propaganda that’s being spewed out the things of personal liberties that are being taken away from us.”

“We need to get Whitmer out of office,” said independent Holli Evans. “She’s been terrible for [Michigan] for the last four years, and we need some fresh blood in there that’s really going to change things and make our state better.”

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