The biggest winner last night was Abortion Right, as ruby red Kansas(!) rejected removing the right to an abortion from the state constitution. Tiger Beat on the Potomac email thingie:
IN KANSAS … A POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE — By a stunning, roughly 20-point margin, Kansas voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have given state lawmakers the chance to either further restrict or ban abortions in the state. Turnout swelled — “approaching what’s typical for a fall election for governor,” per the AP — and the “no” vote did well not just in Democratic strongholds, but in conservative and rural areas, outperforming JOE BIDEN’s 2020 vote share there.
It marked the first time since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade that voters had a chance to directly weigh in on abortion rights.
The result is “a political earthquake with the potential to reshape the entire midterm campaign,” David Siders, Adam Wren and Zach Montellaro write in their rundown of election takeaways.
Reporting from Kansas, our Alice Miranda Ollstein writes that “the vote also countered the narrative that the abortion issue is a bigger motivator for conservative voters, and may signal a warning to Republican lawmakers across the country that the Roe decision may generate considerable backlash over the coming months and years.
“Politically, the outcome is sure to reverberate across the country and buoy the Democrats’ bid to capitalize on the overturning of Roe in the midterm battle for Congress this fall. It will lift the party’s hopes that anger over the Supreme Court’s decision will matter more than concerns about inflation and President JOE BIDEN’s leadership, allowing Democrats to maintain their narrow majorities on Capitol Hill,” she writes.
Sure enough, on Tuesday night, Biden issued a statement trumpeting the Kansas result and calling on Congress to “restore the protections of Roe as federal law.”
Oddly, TBotP does not give us any numbers, but they were running 58.8% to 41.2% ahead of the theocrats when I checked. That, as President Handsome Joe Biden would say is a big eff’ing deal.
Gov. Kelly easily won the right to run for reelection. She will face state AG Derek Schmidt, who is an election denier, a climate change denier, and a good friend of former state Secretary of State Kris Kobach, speaking of whom, he won the right to lose another office, Attorney General.
Crossing the border into the Show Me State, Missouri, noted local dungeon master, blackmailer, wife and child beater (ALLEGED!) Eric Greitens lost his senate bid to a different Eric —I’m pretty sure that Lord Damp Nut will claim victory— and Eric Schmidt will no doubt thank him, too. The Democrat will be booze baron Trudy Busch Valentine. With her family beer money and with abortion rights being the clear issue of the day, she might make a race of this.
The news out of the Terrible Sand Kingdom of Arizonastan is that As of this writing, it’s 45.7% for Trump-endorsed Kari Lake and 44.9% for Pence-endorsed Karren Robson (with 78% reporting) in the Governor’s race; one of them will face the Democrat Katie Hobbs. In the Senate race, Trump got his Nazi fan boy, Blake Masters.
And those were the races we watched, but honestly, the real news was Kansas. If they back off on outlawing abortion, the base will be furious, and the Party will also be failing to capitalize on a victory 50 years in the losing, er, making. On the other hand, if Republicans stay the course, they’re going to be anchored to an issue that’s a pretty big loser that women clearly don’t like.