On Tuesday, an unprecedented number of Kansans voted against a constitutional amendment that would have allowed lawmakers to end protections against abortion. That is a major victory for women’s rights, but the outcome also has major consequences for the national elections in November. It is especially true in those states where abortion rights are on the ballot after overthrowing Roe vs Waden and where the Democrats want to stay in power.
In contrast to what? some conservatives had thoughtabortion is an issue that can mobilize voters.
More than 900,000 Kansans came to the polls to vote on the state’s abortion referendum. That’s the largest voter turnout in state history, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. That number is closer to what we would expect in a general election turnout, which is always much higher than primaries. And it suggests that we could also see a high turnout in upcoming abortion primaries.
Known as “Value to Both,” the amendment would have removed the constitutional protections for abortion that stemmed from a 2019 ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court. Nearly 60 percent of those Kansas voters voted against the amendment — or for abortion rights — this year, while about 40 percent voted for it. That margin is higher than you might expect in a state where polls have shown an equal split between those who support abortion and those who oppose it. Nationally, Americans overwhelmingly support access to abortion in some cases.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the referendum is that it happened in a very Republican state. just a quarter of registered voters in Kansas are Democrats, while 40 percent are Republican. Almost a third is not connected.
In the last general election, Kansas, as it has for decades, went for the Republican candidate. But in Tuesday’s primaries, in every province, vote on the referendum were to the left of what they were in the 2020 presidential electionaccording to a Washington Post analysis of data from the Kansas Secretary of State.
The referendum, in particular, seems to have highlighted women, who are most affected by abortion laws. As Tom Bonier, CEO of Democratic data company TargetSmart, noted, the proportion of new registrants in Kansas who were female skyrocketed following the news of the US Supreme Court. dobbs decision.
The Dobbs decision preoccupied women in Kansas to an unprecedented degree.
This graph shows the percentage of new registrants in the state who were female (as a 7-day average). Note the spike after the Dobbs decision leaked, and the huge jump after the Supreme Court pronounced it. pic.twitter.com/pvi3WpuR86
— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) August 3, 2022
In Kansas, the issue brought in a record number of voters. Even Republicans may have voted for abortion rights. The question now is whether people across the country will stand up for this issue as well.