Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and different main Democrats on Wednesday stated an unexpectedly sturdy vote to uphold the proper to an abortion in “red” Kansas offers their social gathering a lift over Republicans going into the autumn midterm elections.
“Last night in the American heartland, the people of Kansas sent an unmistakable message to MAGA Republican extremists — back off women’s fundamental rights,” stated Schumer, D-N.Y. referring to the “Make America Great Again” battle cry of former President Donald Trump and his supporters.
With a particularly excessive turnout, Kansans on Tuesday voted 59% to 41% towards a proposed constitutional modification that might let the state’s Republican-controlled legislature both ban or severely limit abortion.
“What happened in red Kansas last night is a reflection of what is happening across the country and what will continue to occur through the November elections,” Schumer stated on the Senate ground. “If it’s going to happen in Kansas, it’s going to happen in a whole lot of states.”
The sturdy pro-choice vote in Kansas, he stated, will proceed into the November elections,” he said. “And Republicans who facet with these extremist MAGA insurance policies that assault girls’s rights accomplish that at their very own political danger,” he said.
The vote was the crucial first test of how voters could react to the Supreme Court’s decision in June overturning the federal constitutional right to abortion, which had existed since the same court’s 1973 ruling in the Roe v. Wade case.
The latest Supreme Court ruling effectively leaves it up to individual states to decide how strictly to regulate or outright ban abortion.
Nearly half of the states are expected to impose total or near-total bans on the procedure, despite the fact that opinion polls consistently show that a solid majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit seeking to block the enforcement of Idaho’s new abortion law, which beginning later this month would make it a criminal offense to perform abortion in nearly all cases.
Tuesday’s loss by anti-abortion advocates in Kansas was stunning because the state reliably supports Republicans, whose party opposes abortion, in national elections. The Democratic Party, in contrast, is a staunch supporter of abortion rights.
In the 2016 presidential election, the then-Republican candidate Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percentage points in Kansas, helping cement his victory in the national election for the White House.
Trump also defeated President Joe Biden in Kansas by nearly 15 percentage points in 2020.
Anti-abortion groups spent millions of dollars promoting the Kansas amendment,
But as of Wednesday morning, the “no” vote on Kansas’s anti-abortion amendment was outpacing “sure” voters by about 18 percentage points with 99% of the vote counted.
Ever since Biden’s national victory in 2020, Democrats were expected to face tough odds in the November elections to retain their majorities in both chambers of Congress. The incumbent party of a sitting president typically performs poorly in midterm races and the individual Senate seats up for reelection aren’t sure things for the Democrats.
But top Democrats on Wednesday were heartened by the results on the Kansas amendment, even if all of them were not predicting it meant they will keep their majorities.
The results came as a new national poll by Monmouth University showed that there has been a significant increase in support for Democrats on a generic ballot since June, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Monmouth’s latest poll showed that 50% of Americans now prefer Democrats controlling Congress, compared with 43% who prefer Republicans taking the majority. That same poll, which has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, showed Biden with just a 38% approval rating.
A Monmouth poll in June had shown the parties dead even, 47% to 47% in voter preferences. And in May, Republicans held a 4 percentage point edge over Democrats when people were asked in the poll which party should control Congress.
“I believe the message is on the market that the response throughout America to this Supreme Court choice is highly effective,” Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, told reporters Wednesday. “People usually are not staying residence. They’re exhibiting up on the polls, I believe it will have an effect in November.”
Asked if that impact would be enough to save his party’s majorities, Durbin said, “I would not say that, would not go that far, however I’ll let you know this. It has created a brand new issue on this off-year election in that Republicans are in a troublesome place.”
He said reports of extreme situations where women have been in danger because they are being denied access to abortion have been making the news. “And it is not one which’s highly regarded with voters,” he said.
Another Democrat, Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, told reporters, “the American individuals are fed up with politicians making an attempt to inform them what to do with their lives and their our bodies.”
Abortion will be a ballot issue this November, he said.
“The anger, angst, nervousness that it was expressed in Kansas is so widespread on this nation that I believe that November goes to be a key indication,” Blumenthal said.
But Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said that “I simply doubt it” when asked if the issue of abortion rights would lead to Democrats holding their majorities.
“”I think we will take them both back,” Hawley stated, referring to the Senate and House of Representatives.
The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America instructed that Hawley’s confidence is just not warranted.
“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,'” stated NARAL President Mini Timmaraju in a press release.
“In the heartland of the United States, protecting abortion access is galvanizing voters like never before, and that mobilization is only just beginning. Reproductive freedom is a winning issue, now and in November,” Timmaraju stated.