With 95 percent of the votes counted, the “yes” votes on the Ohio abortion rights referendum are ahead 56.6 percent to 43.4 percent. So it wasn’t at all close. And this was in spite of Republicans pullling every scam they could think of to trick voters into voting “no.” The numbers for the referendum to legalize marijuana are nearly identical, btw. I wonder if having both measures on the same ballot helped both measures pass by pulling young folks to the polls.
And Virginia voters gave Gov. Glenn Youngkin a big ol’ noogie by turning control of both houses of the state legislature to Democrats. Perhaps talk of drafting Youngkin to run for president was a tad premature. See Glenn Youngkin handed presidential buzzkill at Axios and Virginia Democrats’ wins thwart Youngkin on abortion, taxes, climate at WaPo.
By giving control of those two chambers to Democrats, voters denied Youngkin (R) the political allies he needed to ban most abortions after 15 weeks. The governor also lost his chance for turning Virginia sharply to the right in other areas, including public education, tax policy, LGBTQ+ rights, criminal justice, the environment and voting access.
Youngkin’s popularity numbers in Virginia are not exactly impressive (ignore the headline). I think perhaps he’s further to the Right than Virginia voters thought he would be. He can’t run for re-election because Virginia doesn’t allow governors to serve consecutive terms, but if he could I wonder if he’d win.
But the important point for now is that Youngkin ran the GOP’s so-called “moderate” position on abortion, a ban at 15 weeks’ gestation, up the flagpole. And voters shot it down. Will Republicans get the memo? I’m betting a lot of them won’t.
See Philip Bump, Abortion Access Remains Undefeated in the Polls Post-Roe.
Ohio became the seventh state to vote to protect access to abortion in a statewide initiative since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court last year. Four of those initiatives were on the ballot in states that Joe Biden lost in the 2020 election; in all seven, the abortion-access position outperformed Biden’s support in the state.
I don’t know how much clearer it could be. But watch Republicans continue to push for abortion bans.
Update: This is from Politico regarding the Ohio abortion referendum votes —
The unofficial results also suggest that the counties with the highest turnout in Tuesday’s election were actually jurisdictions that had favored Trump in 2020. The victory for Yes on Issue 1 was not driven by remarkable Democratic turnout — but by a significant share of voters in Republican-leaning counties casting their ballots for abortion rights.
And this is about Virginia —
The wins are a rebuke to Youngkin’s efforts to consolidate power in the state by removing a Democratic roadblock to his agenda, on everything from taxes to abortion. Youngkin, unusually, launched a strategy to have Republicans run on abortion in these elections. Youngkin pushed candidates to coalesce around a 15 week ban in the state, trying to cast Democrats as extremists on the issue and Republicans as the party with the reasonable position.
Update: More good news — Moms for Liberty Candidates Take a Beating in Some School Races.