Voters reject attempt to end state protection against abortion in Kansas

After a relatively quiet July, the midterm elections returned with a roar on Tuesday, with five-state primaries capturing national attention.

Former President Trump has once again made himself the centerpiece by weighing in on the day’s fiercest competition. His approvals were seen as a barometer his continued influence on the GOP base, and few have higher stakes than his gubernatorial candidates in Arizona and Michigan, two states where he lies about electoral fraud will continue in 2020. And his support in the Missouri Senate race opened up new horizons in creativity, even if he lacked clarity.

His desire for internal party reckoning also continued rapidly in the states of Michigan and Washington. supported the opponents of three Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted to impeach him in January 2021.

While Trump’s influence was a side story throughout the primary season, the Kansas election provided a glimpse into a new dynamic: post-election abortion politics. end Row vs. Wade. The ballot referendum was intended to determine whether the right to abortion is protected in the state constitution, offering the first indication of how voters react to the Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down federal protection for abortion.

Here are the main findings so far:

Decisive vote on abortion in Kansas

In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the Kansas State Constitution protects the right to have an abortion. On Tuesday, voters vehemently rejected an attempt to pass a constitutional amendment drafted by opponents of abortion to overturn the ruling.

The amendment would allow Republicans, who have supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, to pass bills that would limit access to abortion in the state. In theory, they could override a Democratic governor’s veto. Laura Kelly, who is up for re-election this year. This will affect not only the people of Kansas – hundreds of residents of Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma. trips to the state every year to terminate the pregnancy.

The skyrocketing turnout and the amendment’s resounding defeat, including in parts of the state that voted for Trump in 2020, are the first indication of how unpopular attempts to remove abortion protection are among voters, even in red states. There were long lines at polling stations across the state, and turnout was high despite several competitive races on the ballot.

The landslide victory in an all-red state has rattled National Democrats, who have clung to a political lifeline amid high inflation and President Biden’s average approval numbers. They now have evidence that the right to have an abortion can be a powerful motivator.

“It’s time to rethink conventional wisdom about the midterms following this vote in Kansas,” the Democratic Senator from Hawaii tweeted. Brian Shatz. “People are mad as hell that their rights are being taken away.”

Dirty primaries in Michigan

Republican Tudor Dixon will meet with the Democratic governor. Gretchen Whitmer after surviving Michigan’s chaotic gubernatorial election. Dixon, a conservative former political commentator, defeated four other Republicans, including Ryan Kelly, who was arrested by the FBI in June on charges of being in the US Capitol during the January election. 6, 2021, uprising.

Five other Republican candidates, including two leaders, were disqualified in May because of forged signatures used to vote.

Despite Trump’s last-minute support, Dixon has already faced criticism from his allies. She has been called the select establishment because she is backed by former education secretary Betsy DeVos, who angered the entire Trump world when she stepped down from his administration after the Capitol attack.

Democrats in the state had their own bitter battle in a constituency northwest of Detroit after redistricting brought incumbent representatives. Andy Levin and Hayley Stevens sat in one seat. Levin had the support of prominent progressives such as the Vermont senator. Bernie Sanders, and Stevens was supported by Hillary Clinton.

The campaign also became an indication of the direction of America’s Israeli-Palestinian policy; The pro-Israel group AIPAC poured millions into television ads against Levin, who was critical of the country’s treatment of the Palestinians. Stevens emerged victorious in the internal party battle.

Congratulations Eric

Race for success for an outgoing GOP senator. Roy Blunt of Missouri has been looking for candidates for a long time – there are 21 applicants on the ballot – and drama. Most of all disputes around the former governor of Missouri. Eric Greitens, who resigned in 2018 amid allegations of sexual harassment and blackmail, which are usually not good for political prospects. So are the domestic abuse allegations that Greitens’ ex-wife has made amid their ongoing custody battle.

Yet Greitens, who ran ads depicting him pretending to prey on moderate Republicans, looked good in the race thanks to his publicity. A group of Republicans, fearful that Greitens might give Democrats access to an all-red seat, unleashed a flurry of negative TV ads on him. What pushed the state of Atti. Gene. Eric Schmitt at the top of the electoral pile.

Trump remained silent about his preference until the day before the primaries, when he announced that “Eric” was his choice. Which Eric? This remains unclear. Both Greitens and Schmitt have claimed approval for themselves. By backing them both, Trump ended up winning and losing the race at the same time.

The clear winner overall was Schmitt, who received the Republican nomination on Tuesday.

Arizona’s 2020 Endless Elections

Trump never recovered from his minor defeat in Arizona nearly two years ago, and neither did his picks in the state’s top races. Tuesday’s primaries will show whether Arizona’s Republican voters feel the same way — or if they’re ready to move on.

Trump’s Favorite Rivals former news anchor Kari Lake for governorventure capitalist Blake Masters for the US Senate and state legislator and election denier Mark Finham for secretary of state all echoed the false battle cry that Trump actually won in the state on the battlefield.

Their Republican opponents, for the most part, have not openly dismissed these conspiracy theories.

Karrin Taylor Robson, whose governorship was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence and Governor of Arizona. Doug Ducey, refused to say whether it accepted the results of the 2020 elections.

Jim Lamon, the chief executive of a solar company and the Masters’ main rival in the Senate race, said he would not have approved the election or provided financial support for a haphazard partisan vote survey in Maricopa County. Another candidate for the Senate, Attie. Gene. Mark Brnovich heeded calls to investigate the fraud, but was still seen as insufficiently committed by Trump. On Monday, Brnovic released the results of his investigation into allegations of voting for a deceased person; instead of allegedly 282 dead voters, he found one.

Impeach anger

When 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump after Jan. 6 the invasion of the US Capitol, they knew that this vote would be life-changing for their careers. The four have since decided to retire rather than seek re-election. One, Rep. David Valadao from Californianarrowly survived his first. Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina lost decisively. Now the fate of three more will be decided on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, Trump supported applicants for all three positions.

In Michigan Rep. Peter Meyer, the only freshman to vote in favor of impeachment, has faced stiff competition from John Gibbs, who worked in the Trump administration and does not consider the 2020 election to be legitimate. The Democratic congressional campaign, sensing that Gibbs would be more vulnerable in November, ran ads highlighting his loyalty to Trump and stating that he was too conservative for the district, which in the Republican primaries was tantamount to actually contributing to the campaign.

If the rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse advanced on Tuesday, likely because there are no party primaries in their home state of Washington. Instead, the top two candidates with the most votes go to the general election.

Beutler has faced several well-funded rivals, including Trump-elect Joe Kent, a former Green Beret with ties to right-wing extremist groups like the Proud Boys. Newhouse is fighting Lauren Culp, who ran for governor in 2020 and blamed fraud for his loss without evidence. Trump-backed Culp claimed election fraud on Tuesday before the polls closed, pointing to a local newspaper website that appeared to show the vote count. The newspaper’s editor clarified that Culp was looking at a test page and not the actual voting results.

Mason reported from Los Angeles, John from Grand Rapids, Michigan.