Now About That Uterus Of Yours
Sutton has shown over the years that he rejects that tenet of his party's core beliefs. In 2013, he voted for a House resolution urging the United States Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade and "overturn its decision." In 2016 he voted for an "informed consent" law requiring abortion providers to give patients information that South Dakota's chapter of the pro-choice organization NARAL calls "biased counseling." Cory Heidelberger's Aberdeen-based blog Dakota Free Press has created a table of Sutton's votes that gives the nominee an 80% pro-life voting record during the period 2011-2017. South Dakota Right To Life was so impressed by Sutton's consistency that in 2016 they rated him 100 and gave him an "A" for his work in support of its agenda.
Counter-intuitively, these numbers must sit pretty well with South Dakota's establishment Democrats. Indeed, state party Chairwoman Ann Tornberg has advertised herself as pro-life, though I've never known her to make reproductive rights an issue in dealing with party business. Obviously, within party ranks it isn't a make-or-break issue. There's probably even some sub-surface hope that on the basis of Sutton's pro-life agenda a fair number of Republicans seeking some political reform might feel comfortable voting for him. That could well materialize, but I think it will come at some significant cost to Democrats in November because most social issues-driven younger voters will be turned off by Sutton's anti-choice agenda. I haven't found South Dakota-specific numbers, but on a national scale, Pew Research has found that young adults (18-39), by a 2-to-1 margin believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The next older group (30-49) agrees by a margin of about 3-to-2.
If these results are close to how South Dakota's younger voters feel, Sutton probably has a problem. Question is, will this attitude be expressed with enough intensity to make a difference at the polls? Maybe, maybe not. My experience tells me that among a fair number of passionately committed young voters, it will be. I doubt that a large contingent of Dems would reject him outright, but believe that many will respond to him with a collective "meh." Given the party registration gap between Democrats and Republicans (30% vs. 46%), on the enthusiasm front Sutton needs more, much more.