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.

6 thoughts on “A Big No in Kansas Lights the Way for Dems

  1. As of 3 months ago, Peter Thiel had already spent $25 Million on this election cycle.  Blake Masters and J.D. Vance and Eric Schmitt are his senate candidates.  Thiel is 3 for 3 with his senate candidates.  

  2. Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers was rewarded for his forthright testimony to the January 6 committee by losing his primary.

    What's going on in Arizona has shades of Chairman Mao's cultural revolution. I'm surprised the MAGA mob didn't drag Bowers through the streets with a placard around his neck announcing his crimes against conservatism. As much as I don't have any love for any candidate in the GOP lineup, it hurts to see a mindless organism called the base tear down any remnants of decency, intellect and principle that exists within the party. History has shown us that same element of mindless intolerance we are witnessing in Arizona many times before…the French Revolution, The Iranian Revolution, China's Cultural Revolution, The Third Reich, The Khmer Rouge, Stalinistic purges, and countless other political events throughout history.

  3. If the question is "What events can change the momentum of the 2020 midterms?", Kansas and women's rights are a huge factor. It should drive turnout up. It's the answer to,  "How do you get through to young voters who frequently fail to vote?" Republicans WILL show up! Motivating citizens to show at the polls is the key. May I draw a larger frame?

    One of the 3% insurrectionists was sentenced to over seven years this week.

    Alex Jones was rocked today by the question, "Do you know what perjury is?" They have (from Jones' lawyer) ALL his text messages from the last two years. They said "all" and two years goes back BEFORE Jan 6.  Why do I think a committee in Congress will be asking for that trove? Jones found out on the stand today – but Jones' lawyer knew of the "inadvertent" dump and did nothing, not even giving Jones a heads-up. This is the first of three hearings to determine damages. I think the court will clean his clock financially and then go for criminal fraud and perjury for the clumsy attempt to conceal assets. Bottom line: The poster boy for conspiracy theories is gonna get his clock cleaned VERY publicly and then sent to jail. (Prediction.) 

    The request by the Oath Keepers to delay their trial was denied yesterday – kickoff begins in September for nine militia clowns. I think three others have agreed to cooperate –  may include testimony.  The charges include Seditious Conspiracy – this is a major blow to the narrative that peaceful protest got out of control. DOJ has not lost a case that went to trial. 

    I hope that charges will be filed against the Trump Crack Legal Team (AKA The Keystone Cops.)  I hope the charges are filled before the mid-terms. My list of nominees for the award: Rudy Giuliani – Jeffrey Clark – Sydney Powell – John Eastman – Mark Meadows (Who else? I'm forgetting someone.) The significance of moving from the cannon fodder insurrectionist to the generals won't be missed by anyone – especially Trump.

    Another player I'd like to see with federal charges filed before Nov. is Matt Gaetz. 

    I'm asking about the young people who've almost given up on voting and critical of the corruption in the WHOLE system (including many Democrats.)  "It doesn't matter." is the motto of far too many citizens with liberal leanings. How do you reach and excite the victims of apathy and cynicism? Abortion will rile young people (including woke guys) but abortion won't be on the midterm ballot in Nov. like it was in Kansas.

    Start putting points on the board! Early reports are that Sinema will extract a small pound of flesh, but she's not going to gut the Manchin bill. It can pass by reconciliation mostly intact. Huge win! Also – start putting away the insurrectionists with serious jail time! Charge the lawyers for the conspiracy to steal the election from Biden. The trial(s) will be after midterms but before 2024. But charge NOW!

    When Trump panics, (I think he will when his lawyers are charged – they will flip.) Trump will send his mob against the big three: Atlanta, DC, and NYC before trials to try to get charges dismissed.  The not-too-veiled call for violence will be the final straw for a lot of undecided voters. Trump will have NO electoral path to the WH. He'll try to overtly topple the government. 

    I think we're winning.

    • Who else? I'm forgetting someone.

      Well, he's no lawyer, but Bernie Kerik was in the war room at the Willard Hotel when the finishing touches were being put on the coup attempt. I don't know what role he played, but he does have information about what went on and who was doing and saying what. The fact that he was a recipient of a Trump pardon shows the significance he had to Trump.

  4. Of course the KS Republicans will try another way to curtail access to abortion. When was the last time a religious ideologue said, "What? A vast majority of people don't agree with us? Never mind, then."

  5. This is not the first time Kansas polling has been way off the mark.  When I brought this up with a new appointee to an area political center which does such things, I found out why.  I expected a response which recognized the problem and the methods they were using to correct their polling methods and got nothing but defensive responses and excuses relating to dial telephones and such.  Yes, times have changed but they have not adjusted their methods.  Polling today needs new methods to adjust for measurement error due to changes in those who can and will be polled.  It takes quite a high skill level to recognize the problem and get adjustments made.  

    On a slightly different but related topic, let us just take the current data on the Kansas election.  There was quite a shift in percentage of registered republicans who voted for Trump and republicans voting against the constitutional amendment.  Yes, one might assume a republican might share the party's position on abortion, but many rural people do not follow the party line on single issues.  You have probably heard of the term cafeteria catholic before (those who pick and choose beliefs but don't take all of it) and there are many cafeteria republicans too.  In most of Kansas, which republican wing gets elected is more important, as few areas have democrat candidates.  Polling generally uses stratified sampling.  The category of registered republican means something different in more rural areas without a significant other party.  The only way your vote counts in local elections is at the primary level.  You may differ on issues from the party but to have your vote count at all in some areas, you better register republican so you can vote in the primary.  Otherwise, you have essentially no vote at all.  Pollsters need to find a way to account for this factor too. 

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