Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer touted abortion rights as the most important issue in 2024 during a Wednesday visit to Arizona to campaign for President Biden, though voters everywhere clearly disagree.

Biden’s campaign co-chair pointed to Michigan’s Proposal 3 in 2022 as evidence voters can lock abortion access into law, telling tens of patrons at a Phoenix coffee house the issue is more important than the economy.

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“I’m telling you this because it is possible,” Whitmer said, adding she feared a reelection victory by former President Donald Trump would result in a nationwide ban on abortions.

Arizona Democrats are following Michigan’s lead, pushing the Arizona for Abortion Access Act through a statewide referendum to enshrine the right to an abortion into the Arizona Constitution. In Michigan, a similar Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative guaranteed “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.” The 2022 ballot referendum was approved by about 57% of voters.

“Abortion is about the economy,” Whitmer said. “The most important economic decision a woman makes over the course of her lifetime is whether and when to bear a child.”

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Arizona law currently allows for abortion up to 15 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest, and the state’s Supreme Court is set to rule on the legality of a separate, more restrictive law.

Arizona for Abortion Access has gathered 508,000 signatures to put the initiative on the ballot, though critics contend it could lead to dangerous situations for women in The Grand Canyon State.

“Legal analysis shows it is written very vaguely and it has broad exemptions that allow for unlimited, unregulated abortion,” Cindy Dahlgren, spokeswoman for the It Goes Too Far campaign, told KPNX.

Dahlgren points to language in the proposed law that refers to an abortion provider as a “treating health care professional.”

“Under Arizona statute, a health care professional does include a chiropractor, a podiatrist, and many other things,” she said. “So those health care professionals would be able to sign off on a late-term abortion, or possibly write the prescription for the abortion pill.”

“It leads to a myriad of dangerous, risky situations for girls and women,” Dahlgren said.

Whitmer suggested Arizonians could overcome those concerns by weaponizing their deeply personal traumas into political firepower.

“I don’t really like talking about the fact that I was raped when I was in college,” she said, “but I’m going to do it till the day I die if it means that I want to protect these rights for my daughters and all Americans.”

Whitmer’s relentless focus on abortion as the “top issue” for voters contradicts recent polling in Arizona, Michigan, and everywhere else.

An Emerson College poll of 1,000 registered Arizona voters released in late March shows 32% identified immigration as the top issue in 2024, followed by 22% who pointed to the economy, 11% who said housing affordability, 8% for education, 7% for healthcare, and 6% for abortion access, which was tied with threats to democracy and ahead of crime at 5%.

Another poll of 1,002 registered Arizona voters conducted by Noble Predictive Insights in February found inflation, immigration, and healthcare as the top issues, followed by abortion and education.

“Arizona voters’ top issues currently favor Republicans in a sense that those issues are traditionally successful Republican platforms, such as immigration and economy,” Mike Noble, founder of Noble Predictive Insights, told KTAR.

In Whitmer’s home state, it’s a similar dynamic.

A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,487 registered voters in mid-March found 22% believe preserving democracy is the top issue, followed by 21% who said the economy, and 21% who pointed to immigration. Abortion was not even in the top three issues for Democrats.

“Among Democrats, the top issue is preserving democracy in the United States (42%), followed by gun violence (12%) and the economy (10%),” according to the pollster.

Nationally, the percentage of voters who identify immigration as the “most important problem” increased by 8% to 28% in a February Gallop poll, which tracks the top issues on a monthly basis.

Other major issues identified by Gallop include the government (20%), economy (12%), inflation (11%), and poverty/hunger/homelessness (6%). Healthcare was a top concern for a mere 2%.

“A separate question in the survey finds a record-high 55% of U.S. adults, up eight points from last year, saying that ‘large numbers of immigrants entering the United States illegally’ is a critical threat to U.S. vital interests,” Gallup reports. “The prior high was 50% in 2004.”