Overwhelming right-wing victory over abortion in ‘red’ Kansas gives Democrats a boost for fall midterm over ‘MAGA’ GOP, says Schumer

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other leading Democrats said Wednesday that an unexpectedly strong vote to uphold the right to abortion in “red” Kansas is giving their party a boost over Republicans competing in the fall midterm elections.

“Last night, the Kansas residents of the U.S. outback sent an unmistakable message to the MAGA Republican extremists — withdrawing women’s fundamental rights,” said Schumer, DN.Y. referring to the rallying cry “Make America Great Again” by former President Donald Trump and his supporters.

With an extremely high turnout, Kansans voted 59% to 41% on Tuesday against a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to ban or severely restrict abortion.

“What happened in red Kansas last night is a reflection of what is happening across the country and what will happen in the November election,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “If it’s going to happen in Kansas, it’s going to happen in a lot of states.”

The strong pro-choice vote in Kansas, he said, will continue into the November election,” he said. “And Republicans who join this extremist MAGA policy that attacks women’s rights are doing so on their own politics. risk,” he said.

The vote was the crucial first test of how voters could respond to the Supreme Court’s June decision nullifying the federal constitutional right to abortion, which had existed since the same court’s 1973 ruling in the Roe v. Wade case.

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The latest Supreme Court ruling actually leaves it up to individual states to decide how to strictly regulate or ban abortion altogether.

Nearly half of states are expected to impose total or nearly complete bans on the procedure, despite polls consistently showing that a solid majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block enforcement of Idaho’s new abortion law, which was due to begin later this month and would make it a criminal offense in nearly all cases to have an abortion.

Tuesday’s loss by anti-abortion proponents in Kansas was astonishing as the state reliably backs Republicans, whose anti-abortion party, in national elections. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is a staunch supporter of abortion rights.

In the 2016 presidential election, then-Republican nominee Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percentage points in Kansas, helping him cement his victory in the national White House election.

Trump also defeated President Joe Biden in Kansas in 2020 by nearly 15 percentage points.

Anti-abortion groups spent millions of dollars to promote the Kansas amendment,

But as of Wednesday morning, the “no” vote on the Kansas anti-abortion amendment outnumbered “yes” voters by about 18 percentage points, counting 99% of the vote.

Since Biden’s national victory in 2020, Democrats were expected to have significant chances to maintain their majority in both chambers of Congress in the November election. A sitting president’s incumbent party typically performs poorly in midterm races, and individual Senate seats for re-election are uncertain for Democrats.

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But Wednesday’s top Democrats were encouraged by the results of the Kansas amendment, even though not all predicted they would retain their majority.

The results came as a new national poll from Monmouth University showed a significant increase in support for Democrats in a general vote since June, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Monmouth’s latest poll found that 50% of Americans now prefer Democrats who control Congress, compared to 43% who prefer Republicans who take the majority. That same poll, which has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, showed Biden with only a 38% approval rating.

In fact, a poll in Monmouth in June found the parties dead, 47% to 47% in voter preferences. And in May, Republicans were 4 percentage points ahead of Democrats when people were asked in the poll which party should control Congress.

“I think the message there is that the response across America to this Supreme Court decision is strong,” Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, told reporters on Wednesday. “People don’t stay at home. They come to the polls, I think it will have an effect in November.”

Asked if that impact would be enough to save the majority of his party, Durbin said: “I wouldn’t say that, I wouldn’t go that far, but I’ll tell you this. It has created a new factor in this off-year election means Republicans are in a difficult position.”

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He said reports of extreme situations in which women have been in danger because of being denied access to abortion are making the headlines. “And it’s not one that’s very popular with voters,” he said.

Another Democrat, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, told reporters, “The American people are tired of politicians trying to tell them what to do with their lives and bodies.”

Abortion will be a voting issue in November, he said.

“The anger, fear, anxiety that was expressed in Kansas is so widespread in this country that I think November will be an important indicator,” Blumenthal said.

But Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said that “I just doubt it” when asked whether the issue of abortion rights would lead Democrats to maintain their majority.

“I think we’ll take them both back,” Hawley said, referring to the Senate and House of Representatives.

The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America suggested Hawley’s trust is unwarranted.

“At a time when reproductive freedom is under unprecedented threat across the country, Kansans said loud and clear at the ballot box, ‘We’ve had enough,'” NARAL president Mini Timmaraju said in a statement.

“At the heart of the United States, protecting access to abortion is empowering voters like never before, and that mobilization is just beginning. Reproductive freedom is a winning issue now and in November,” Timmaraju said.

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