RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Missteps by Virginia Democrats in a debate over late-term abortions are giving Republicans hope they’ve found a powerful issue in a tough political environment.

Virginia Republican leaders vowed Thursday to make abortion a front-and-center issue during this year’s legislative elections. And President Donald Trump indicated he sees the issue as a political winner.

Their comments come after a Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and Del. Kathy Tran made statements advocating for looser late-term abortions that critics said signal support for abortions even right before birth and shortly after a baby is born.

Democrats said their views are being mischaracterized for political gain, but one Democrat has been critical of the way her party has treated the issue.

Virginia is a swing state holding legislative elections this year.