It seemed, for a while there, that 2024 was going to be The Presidential Election Year Without Much Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, the brash Republican who had made his conservative transformation of the Sunshine State the blueprint for his presidential run, had been flattened in the primary by former President Donald Trump. Florida’s Democrats were still reeling from their crushing statewide losses in 2022.

Florida, which was once the ultimate battleground state but has tilted redder in recent years, seemed like it would basically sit this election out, like a retiree with a cocktail watching pickleball from the sidelines.

Not so, President Biden’s campaign said this week. Because abortion.

On Monday, the Florida Supreme Court upheld a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. At the same time, it also ruled that a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion “before viability,” usually around 24 weeks, could go on the November ballot.

Hours later, the Biden campaign blasted out a splashy announcement: It sees an “opening” in Florida and intends to seize it, releasing an ad on abortion rights the next morning.

“President Biden is in a stronger position to win Florida this cycle than he was in 2020,” Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Biden’s campaign manager, wrote in a memo released to the media.


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