Sahil Kapur looks at the 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans who voted against the House Republicans’ 20-week abortion ban:
The six Democrats who voted for the act were Reps. Nick Rahall (WV), Collin Peterson (MN), Jim Matheson (UT), Mike McIntyre (NC), Dan Lipinski (NC) and Henry Cuellar (TX).
The first five hail from significantly Republican-leaning districts. Cuellar is a Blue Dog member from a swing Texas district and opposes abortion rights.
The six Republicans who voted against the act were Reps. Paul Broun (GA), Rob Woodall (GA), Richard Hanna (NY), Charlie Dent (PA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ) and Jon Runyan (NJ).
They’re a mix of moderates who said the bill went too far in curtailing rights, including Hanna, and ultraconservatives who weren’t on board with the rape and incest exemptions.
Charlie Dent is no moderate on women’s health and privacy, objectively speaking, but relative to the nutty band of fundamentalists and misogynists who run his party, he looks eminently reasonable. Leadership will never get him to vote for an outright abortion ban, but he’ll be there on all the other votes to water down Roe v. Wade with the worst of them.
Democrats and center-left independents in PA-15 can obviously do much better than that. His recent voting behavior is certainly no reason to split a ticket for Dent. But he’s far enough off message that Republican Party activists wouldn’t be crazy to run a primary challenge against him. If Gerlach and Fitzpatrick can afford to vote with the fundies then so can Dent. This is one of the more competitive districts, but it’s still an R+2 District.