Does Kansas Give You Hope?

In Kansas this week, the scale of voter turnout and the 59-41 margin of victory to reject the abortion ban on the ballot hit like a thunderclap. After all, the last time this deeply conservative state voted for a Democrat for president was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The arrival of over 900,000 voters—nearly doubling the number who showed up for the 2018 primaries, matching that year’s general election and exceeding the votes cast in the midterm general elections in 2014 and 2010—is causing strategists to rethink the calculus.

This unexpectedly decisive outcome should encourage voters determined to sustain women’s reproductive freedom to expect a more energized Democratic electorate in November. A New York Times analysis suggests that about 65 percent of voters nationwide and majorities in over 40 states would reject a similar referendum to ban abortion. But the question lingers whether abortion rights will be decisive for Democrats in November when this issue is not directly on the ballot and voters are considering the significance of other issues. Inflation remains the top issue for a majority of Republicans. That said:

What do you think? Does the vote in Kansas give you hope for November? Do you expect that candidates committed to reproductive freedom will energize Democrats and drive voter turnout? Has Kansas motivated you to get more involved and believe the traditional tide against the party in power is not inevitable? As always, I look forward to reading what’s on your mind and the opportunity for this community to learn from each other.

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*Photo Credit: Pro-choice Kansas voters learn that the constitutional amendment to strip away abortion rights failed. Photo by Dave Kaup/AFP via Getty Images.