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Kansas abortion vote shakes US midterms outlook

#Kansas #abortion #vote #shakes #midterms #outlook

The surprise vote in Republican-leaning Kansas to reject a push for abortion bans sent shockwaves through the US political landscape ahead of the November midterm elections, and President Joe Biden’s Democrats are now seeing a glimmer of hope that they can avoid their predicted brawl.

Ever since the Supreme Court overturned the nation’s right to abortion in June, US conservatives have nervously questioned whether their triumphant push to severely limit access to the procedure – a decades-old dream – went too far in advance. until the midterms.

In Kansas they got an answer.

The state is a Republican stronghold, but Tuesday’s referendum defeated a motion to remove abortion rights from the Kansas constitution by 59 percent to 41 percent, with an unusually high turnout.

Given that Americans have had their first opportunity to vote on this issue since the conservative-dominated Supreme Court ruled to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade, which enshrines abortion rights, Democrats are excited – and say the backlash is just the beginning.

“The overwhelming defeat of tonight’s election referendum in Kansas demonstrates the massive support for abortion rights among voters and serves as a clear warning to anti-abortionists across the country: their time is up,” said Planned Parenthood, which advocates for abortion access.

“As the first state after the fall of Roe v. Wade votes on abortion rights, Kansas is a model for a path to restoring reproductive rights across the country through direct democracy,” said group president Alexis McGill Johnson, who also chairs the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

“We have an opportunity to protect access to abortion at the ballot box in November. We know Kansas won’t be our last fight or win.”

Or, as former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill told MSNBC after the vote, “This should be a big red flag for every Democratic candidate out there.”

– trump card –

November’s midterm elections, which will decide which party will control Congress for the final two years of Biden’s first term, are proving tough for Democrats, who already control the legislature by just a few votes.

Blamed by voters for soaring inflation — at a four-decade high — and widespread pessimism in the messy aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, Democrats are projected to win at least the House of Representatives and maybe will lose the Senate.

This would likely make Biden a lame duck and turn Washington into an even uglier political battlefield than it is today.

And abortion isn’t the only reason the Midterms campaign will boil over ideological tensions.

Donald Trump is urging far-right candidates to bolster his brand and potentially set the stage for his own White House comeback attempt in 2024.

Several Trump-backed candidates won the United States primary on Tuesday, coinciding with the Kansas referendum, signaling the disgraced ex-president remains a force.

In Michigan, one of the few House Republicans who dared to join Democrats in impeaching Trump for president was ousted and replaced by a former Trump administration official.

Trump’s Senate nominee Blake Masters has won the Republican primary in swing state Arizona.

And Trump’s nominee for the tricky post of Secretary of State for Arizona, a key figure in conducting elections, also won. Mark Finchem, a supporter of Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, has ties to a far-right militia.

Democrats are increasingly trying to tie this Trump surge to the abortion row, arguing that the midterm elections will not just be a bipartisan battle, but more generally between political moderates and rising extremism.

Across the country, Democrats have even gone so far as to pay for advertising promoting Trump’s lead candidate — the theory being that they will be easier to beat than more moderate Republicans in November.

For example, according to the New York Times, the Democratic side spent about $627,000 on advertising in Maryland to help Trump-backed candidate Dan Cox — another proponent of election lie in 2020 — win his Republican gubernatorial primary.

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