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Kansas Vote on Abortion Rights Upends Traditional Wisdom while State Primaries Setup Midterm Elections

Kansas voters overwhelmingly reject referendum to remove right to abortion from state's constitution sending shockwaves through both political parties.
Kansas Vote on Abortion Rights Upends Traditional Wisdom while State Primaries Setup Midterm Elections

On Tuesday night as results rolled in for Kansas's consequential vote on abortion rights, advocates on both sides of the abortion debate were watching closely, looking for lessons as they prepare for similar votes on abortion rights measures this fall, writes NPR.

The results in Kansas — the nation's first statewide vote on abortion rights after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June — has upended traditional wisdom about the politics of abortion. In a Republican-leaning state that preferred President Donald Trump by 15 points in 2020, the outcome was landslide that few expected: Nearly 60% of voters chose to support abortion rights.

Abortion rights supporters and opponents look for lessons from the Kansas vote (NPR)

Excerpt from NPR: "The results in Kansas are reflective of what we're seeing nationwide and here in Michigan: Voters are energized and motivated to fight back to protect their health and rights following the elimination of the federal constitutional right to abortion," said Ashlea Phenicie, a spokesperson at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, one of the groups supporting the Michigan ballot measure. A poll by the Pew Research Center conducted last month found that 62% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The results in Kansas showed a 10- to 15-point swing in many counties from the 2020 presidential election results to Tuesday's vote, suggesting that abortion is an issue that can defy partisan lines.
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Tuesday night's lopsided result in the Kansas abortion referendum -- which saw the anti-abortion measure defeated some 59-41 in a traditionally red state -- has Democrats and Republicans wondering if the post-Roe fight over the social issue marks a sea change in the midterm landscape or a less dramatic shift in an environment that still favors the GOP, reports ABC News.

The proposed amendment, which gave voters a direct choice over whether or not to strip the state constitution's abortion protections, marked the first tangible answer to the question of how June's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade will influence the electorate.

Resounding abortion rights vote in Kansas may reshuffle midterm environment (ABC News)

Excerpt from ABC News: Turnout in the summertime primary spiked to nearly the same level of the 2018 midterm general election. And with an approximately 18-point win for abortion access advocates in one of the nation's conservative bastions, debate is underway among many over whether that victory could ripple outward. Had the amendment passed, it would have offered the GOP-controlled state legislature a path to restricting or banning abortion, continuing a pattern seen in other conservative areas of the country. Kansas law currently allows most abortions to take place up to 22 weeks in a pregnancy. However, Tuesday night's results marked a comprehensive win for abortion rights supporters in a state former President Donald Trump won by nearly 15 points just two years ago and where registered Republicans outpace registered Democrats by hundreds of thousands.
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Meanwhile, voters in Arizona, Missouri, Michigan, and Washington went to the polls Tuesday. Here are some key results, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Primary Elections Results: Latest From Arizona, Missouri, Michigan and Washington (The Wall Street Journal)

Washington: The fates of two GOP House lawmakers who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump remained unresolved. 
Michigan: Conservative commentator Tudor Dixon, who won the support of Mr. Trump, secured the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this November. John Gibbs beat Rep. Peter Meijer, ending the reelection bid of a GOP incumbent who voted to impeach Trump. 
Missouri: Eric Schmitt, the state’s attorney general, won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate Tuesday, foiling a comeback from scandal-plagued former Gov. Eric Greitens. 
Arizona: Kari Lake narrowly defeated Karrin Taylor Robson for the GOP nomination for governor. Blake Masters won the GOP nomination for Senate. Lake is a political neophyte who has centered much of her campaign on supporting the former president’s false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Masters, who was backed by former President Donald Trump and venture capitalist Peter Thiel, has positioned himself as a provocative outsider in Mr. Trump's mold. He will take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, a Navy veteran and former astronaut, in the November general election.
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