Kansas abortion rights vote helps midterm Democrats, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other leading Democrats said Wednesday that a surprisingly strong vote to uphold abortion rights in ‘red’ Kansas gives their party a boost compared to Republicans preparing for midterm elections in the fall.

“Last night, in the heartland of the United States, the people of Kansas sent an unequivocal message to the Republican extremists of MAGA: Roll back the human rights of women,” said Schumer, DN.Y. referencing the former president’s “Make America Great Again” battle cry donald trump and his supporters.

With an extremely high turnout, Kansans voted 59% to 41% on Tuesday against a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the Republican-controlled legislature to ban or severely restrict abortion.

“What happened in Kansas Red last night is reflective of what’s happening across the country and what will continue to happen in the November election,” Schumer said in the Senate. “If it’s going to happen in Kansas, it’s going to happen in many states.”

The strong pro-choice vote in Kansas, he said, will continue through the November election,” he said. “And Republicans who side with these extremist MAGA policies that attack women’s rights do so at their own political risk,” he said.

The vote was the crucial first test of how voters might react to the Supreme Court’s decision in June striking down the federal constitutional right to abortion, which had existed since the same court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade got married.

The latest Supreme Court decision actually leaves it up to each state to decide how strictly to regulate or outright ban abortion.

Nearly half of states are expected to impose complete or near-complete 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, tThe Ministry of Justice filed a complaint seeking to block enforcement of Idaho’s new abortion law, which starting this month would make performing an abortion a criminal offense in almost all cases.

Tuesday’s defeat of anti-abortion lawyers in Kansas was stunning as the state reliably supports Republicans, whose party opposes abortion, in national elections. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is a strong supporter of the right to abortion.

In the 2016 presidential election, then-Republican nominee Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percentage points in Kansas, helping cement her national election victory for the White House.

Trump also beat the president Joe Biden in Kansas by almost 15 percentage points in 2020.

Anti-abortion groups have spent millions of dollars promoting the Kansas amendment,

But Wednesday morning, the “no” vote on Kansas’ anti-abortion amendment outpaced “yes” voters by about 18 percentage points with 99% of the votes counted.

Since Biden’s 2020 national victory, The Democrats faced great difficulties in the November elections to maintain their majority in both houses of Congress. A sitting president’s incumbent party typically does poorly in midterm races and individual Senate seats for re-election are not sure things for Democrats.

But on Wednesday, top Democrats were encouraged by the results of the Kansas amendment, though not all expected it to mean they would retain their majority.

The results came as a new national poll from Monmouth University showed there had been a significant increase in support for Democrats on a wildcard ballot since June, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The latest Monmouth poll showed that 50% of Americans now prefer Democrats to control Congress, compared to 43% who prefer Republicans to take a majority. That same poll, which has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, showed Biden an approval rating of just 38%.

A Monmouth poll in June had shown the parties even dead, 47% to 47% in voter preferences. And in May, Republicans held a 4 percentage point advantage over Democrats when people were asked in the poll which party should control Congress.

“I think the message is out there that the reaction across America to this Supreme Court decision is powerful,” the senator said. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, told reporters Wednesday. “People are not staying at home. They are showing up at the polls, I think that will have an impact in November.”

Asked if that impact would be enough to save his party’s majorities, Durbin replied: “I wouldn’t say that, I wouldn’t go that far, but I’ll tell you this. It created a new factor in this off-year election in that Republicans are in a difficult position.”

He said reports of extreme situations where women have been put at risk because they have been denied access to abortion have grabbed the headlines. “And it’s not one that’s very popular with voters,” he said.

Another Democrat, Senator. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told reporters, “The American people are tired of politicians trying to tell them what to do with their life and their body.”

Abortion will be up for a ballot in November, he said.

“The anger, the angst, the anxiety being expressed in Kansas is so pervasive in this country that I think November will be a key indication,” Blumenthal said.

But the Republican senator. Missouri’s Josh Hawley said “I just doubt it” when asked if the abortion rights issue would lead Democrats to hold on to their majority.

“‘I think we’ll take them both back,'” Hawley said, referring to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America suggested Hawley’s confidence was unwarranted.

“At a time when reproductive freedom is under unprecedented threat across the country, Kansans have said loud and clear at the polls: ‘We’ve had enough,'” NARAL chairman Mini Timmaraju said in a statement. .

“In the heartland of the United States, protecting abortion access is galvanizing voters like never before, and that mobilization is just beginning. Reproductive freedom is a winning issue, now and in November,” Timmaraju said. .