Sen. Josh Hawley predicts the overturning of Roe v. Wade will cause a 'major sorting out across the country' and allow the GOP to 'extend their strength in the Electoral College'

Sen. Josh Hawley predicts the overturning of Roe v. Wade will cause a 'major sorting out across the country' and allow the GOP to 'extend their strength in the Electoral College'
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, FL on February 24, 2022.AP Photo/John Raoux
  • Sen. Josh Hawley predicted that the overturning of Roe v. Wade will help Republicans in the long run.
  • He argued the decision would polarize the country in a way that benefits Republicans in the Electoral College.

On the heels of a 6-3 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and revoking the constitutionally protected right to an abortion in America, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri predicted a dramatic shift in the country's political fabric.

"I really do think that this is going to be a watershed moment in American politics," he said on a call with reporters on Friday. "The first decision — the 1973 Roe decision — fundamentally reshaped American politics, it ushered in the rise of the Christian conservative movement, it led to the forming of what became the Reagan coalition in 1980."

"I think another period of transformative change in American politics is now upon us," he added.

Hawley, a leading social conservative who's thought to harbor presidential ambitions himself, said the ruling would further polarize the country as abortion laws shift on a state-by-state basis.

"I think we will see a major sorting out across the country that is already underway, as we speak, as states move to change their laws or adopt new laws in response to this decision," he said. "I think it'll probably redraw some demographic lines around the country, and will lead to impacts in voting patterns, I think, all around the country."


Hawley said that individuals may make decisions about where they choose to live in the United States based on those laws, possibly relocating in the process.

"More and more red states, they're going to become more red, and purple states are going to become red, and the blue states are going to get a lot bluer," he said.

That, in turn, may give Republicans an even greater advantage in the Electoral College, the country's system for electing presidents. Under that system, the president is decided based on the votes of 538 electors allocated to each state based on their populations.

Republicans already have an advantage under the system, and Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 despite coming millions of votes short of Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.

"I would look for Republicans, as a result of this in time, to extend their strength in the Electoral College," he said. "And that's very good news for those of us who want to see Republican presidents elected, that want to see a Supreme Court that remains conservative."


Hawley was the first Republican senator to announce that he would object to the certification of electoral votes from Pennsylvania during a joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.

'That alliance is over'

Beyond predicting good fortune for his party, Hawley took aim at "corporatists, "neoliberals," and "globalists" within the GOP.

"For years on the conservative side of the ledger, social conservatives have been told that they had to form an alliance with the corporatists, the neoliberals, in order to get elected," he said. "I think that alliance is over today. There's no reason for social conservatives to go along with a corporatist agenda that frankly never had much support in the country."

He added that the agenda of the so-called corporatists has "been a free rider in the Republican coalition for years now."

"I think the skepticism you see in that coalition towards big business, towards the multinational corporations, and all that entails, I think that will become more pronounced as we go forward," he said. "And I look forward to that."


Hawley counts himself among the "populist" wing of the Republican Party, recently declaring opposition to a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine because he believes the US needs a more "nationalist" foreign policy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he partnered with Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on a proposal to provide $2000 stimulus checks to Americans.

More recently, Hawley has sought to fuse anti-corporate sentiment with burgeoning social conservative priorities on the right.

In the wake of Disney's criticism of the "Don't Say Gay" law in Florida, he introduced a bill purportedly taking on Disney, which he said was "increasingly pandering to woke activists."

In effect, the bill simply shortened general copyright protections down to 56 years.