Democrats see Kansas abortion victory as good sign for midterm elections


In the wake of the abortion rights movement’s decisive victory in Kansas, Democrats on Wednesday sought to capitalize on indications of voter anger over conservative efforts to limit access to abortion, as they eyed the midterm elections and other ballot measures with new. Energy.

It was the first direct test at the ballot box of attitudes about the abortion law since the Supreme Court overturned ru vs. valley In June, Kansas voters on Tuesday vehemently rejected a constitutional amendment that would have opened the way to stripping the state of abortion rights. Democrats pointed to the moment as the strongest evidence yet that a conservative Supreme Court ruling and other efforts by Republicans to limit abortion rights would backfire on the Republican Party.

“It is time to reassess the conventional wisdom about the midterm elections after this vote in Kansas,” the senator wrote. Brian Schatz (Democrat from Hawaii) on Twitter. “People are very angry that their rights have been taken away.”

Voter turnout was high in conservative Kansas — a significant increase during the midsummer vote and in the eyes of many Democrats the first major data to suggest abortion could be an important incentive in the fall.

President Biden highlighted Wednesday’s vote, saying Republicans “have no idea the power of American women. Last night in Congress and Kansas, they found out.”

With Biden’s approval ratings low and prices soaring, Democrats have been eyeing the fall campaign with trepidation, eager to take advantage of more favorable issues that motivate voters to vote for their candidates. After the Supreme Court ruling, many Democrats began to redirect their campaigns more toward abortion, viewing their nominations as a bulwark against the Republican Party’s efforts to curtail reproductive rights.

But as of Tuesday, there were no indications that such a strategy might be as successful as what happened in Kansas.

With the constitutional right to abortion enshrined in Ro Abortion rights activists are no longer viable, resorting to ballot procedures, state races and legislative battles to protect and expand abortion rights on an ad hoc basis. Democrats and abortion rights activists, who are largely allied with the party, are making increasingly hopeful observations that efforts can align.

Democrats are also trying to increase turnout and generate energy for the House and Senate races, with many candidates also touting efforts they might make at the federal level, including trying to codify abortion rights into law through a congressional vote.

However, it remains to be seen if Democrats can effectively link abortion as an issue for choosing voters among candidates in the fall. Most Republicans sought to crack down on inflation and the economy, and to stay away from abortion when possible. They have been calmer on the issue than their Democratic counterparts in the wake of Tuesday’s vote in Kansas.

At least four more states will include abortion procedures in the November ballot, which party strategists say could lead to an increase in Democrats’ turnout in those places, as well as a decision on abortion law in those states. These include initiatives in California and Vermont, where measures protect access to abortion within these two states.

Michigan voters are expected to see a measure that would expand and protect abortion access in the state in the November ballot after activists submitted more than 750,000 signatures, more than double the number needed. The ballot procedure must receive final approval, and is pending signature of signatures.

“The exceptional turnout in Kansas today is groundbreaking for what is to come in November in the midterm elections, and it is important that we maintain that momentum,” Cecil Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.

Some Republicans have underestimated the impact of the Kansas results—particularly for Senate races. They noted that there are currently no abortion referendums on the ballot in places that would target Senate races. But several House races in California and Michigan, where abortion will be on the ballot, are already expected to be imminent.

Anti-abortion activists vowed to redouble their efforts in the wake of the Kansas findings. “The risks of the pro-life movement in the upcoming midterm elections cannot be higher, and there will be many other factors,” said Mallory Carroll, a spokeswoman for SBA Pro-Life America. It is a goal of Democrats’ policy of nationalized abortion on the basis of taxpayer demand.”

The group set aside $1.7 million for its failed efforts in Kansas, and along with its affiliate groups, plans to pump an additional $78 million into elections this year.

Michigan, a major swing state in the last presidential election, was the subject of a closely watched gubernatorial election this fall, with the incumbent held. Gretchen Whitmer hopes to be re-elected. Democrats also hope to turn the state’s Senate from red to blue and win major battlefield races in the US House of Representatives.

Some activists who oppose the proposed measure in the Michigan ballot say the question voters face in November will be different from the question Kansans decided on Tuesday.

“It’s very difficult to compare the two ballot measures,” said Kristin Polo, a spokeswoman for Citizens for Michigan Women and Children, a coalition of anti-abortion activists who oppose holding the ballot. “What happened in Kansas does not affect our campaign.”

The Michigan ballot measure would add language protecting access to abortion and other reproductive health services and prevent the 1931 abortion ban from taking effect if it prevailed in the courts. But Polo said the Michigan measure goes much further than the Kansas proposal by restricting lawmakers’ hands from placing restrictions on abortion, from parental consent laws to late abortion bans.

“People are very confused and worried about how extreme this abortion modification is,” Polo said. Although she sees the abortion battles in Michigan and Kansas very differently, Polo acknowledged one similarity, “I think it’s going to be a major issue for voters,” she said. “Even for those who wouldn’t say [abortion] It’s a major issue for them, it’s center stage.”

Michigan abortion-rights advocates welcomed the Kansas vote and suggested that a win could herald a success in the Michigan vote in November.

“This is a huge win for Kansan and a wonderful sign that direct democracy is the *best* way for voters to protect our reproductive freedom,” Reproductive Freedom for All, a group of abortion access activists who brought up the Michigan suffrage procedure, He said in a series of tweets late on Tuesday. The group celebrated in Kansas the result of “Pave the way for more success from our actions at the ballot box in November.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky and Montana voters will consider imposing new abortion restrictions.

The Kentucky ballot procedure will make clear that the state constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion or require any government funding for abortions. The Montana procedure would create personal protection and require doctors to provide life-saving treatment to “alive” babies after an attempted abortion.

Democrats have indicated that they will intensify their focus on this issue in the coming months across the country, even outside states where abortion procedures are on the ballot, and take the fight directly to Republicans.

“Their position is very unpopular and will backfire in battlefield areas,” said Helen Calla, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Looking forward to reminding voters From the Republicans’ toxic agenda every day through November.”

John Wagner and Mariana Alfaro contributed to this report

Leave a Comment