A Big No in Kansas Lights the Way for Dems

The most interesting commentary I’ve seen so far on the Kansas referendum vote is this one in the New York Times. The overwhelming victory for “no” was not just a result of big turnouts in the cities aned suburbs, although that helped. “No” overperformed everywhere, and “yes” underperformed everywhere, compared to votes for Biden and Trump in 2020.

Consider far western Kansas, a rural region along the Colorado border that votes overwhelmingly Republican. In Hamilton County, which voted 81 percent for Mr. Trump in 2020, less than 56 percent chose the anti-abortion position on Tuesday (with about 90 percent of the vote counted there). In Greeley County, which voted more than 85 percent for Mr. Trump, only about 60 percent chose the anti-abortion position.

By the same token, “no” won in the more Democratic urban areas by bigger margins than Biden carried them in 2020. This suggests to me that Democratic candidates even in Red states will benefit enormously by emphasizing support for abortion rights in their campaigns.

As of this writing, with 95 percent of the votes counted, “no” is ahead 58.8 percent to 41.2 percent. That’s decisive.

It may be significant that the only polling on this issue was way off. It showed a tight race with a small majority in favor of “yes.” I can’t speak to how or why the prediction could have been that wrong. However, the Kansas results do seem to be in line with long-standing opinion polls saying a majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade.

That said, I doubt yesterday’s vote will cause the anti-abortion faction in Kansas to back off, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Kansas legislature tried to pass an abortion ban anyway. That’s what the Missouri legislature would do.

In other abortion news — yesterday the Department of Justice sued the state of Idaho over a state abortion law that violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), a federal law that requires medical facilities that receive federal funds to give “stabilizing treatment” to patients. The Idaho law allows abortions only in the case of the imminent death of the mother, but not to stabilize someone who is circling the drain but might live a few more hours. This could very well be only the first of such lawsuits against other states. And President Biden is expected to sign an executive order to provide some kind of insurance coverage or other help for women who have to travel out of state for abortions.

Looking at the rest of the election results — a lot of the MAGA election deniers won primaries yesterday, Arizona went batshit. Democrat Mark Kelly will be defendng his Senate seat against Blake Masters, who sounds like a walking dystopian novel. Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers was rewarded for his forthright testimony to the January 6 committee by losing his primary.

I am seeing some “relief” that Eric Schmitt defeated Eric Greitens, but believe me, relief is premature. Schmitt is going to be one shit show of a senator, if he’s elected, and he probably will be.

Also, too, yesterday the Senate passed the burn pit bill.

File this under, Yeah, we knew he was stupid.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has suggested that Social Security and Medicare be eliminated as federal entitlement programs, and that they should instead become programs approved by Congress on an annual basis as discretionary spending.

The voters will love that, Ron. You should get your other Republican friends to run on that, too.