Primaries: Kansas Voters Send a Clear Message, While AZ GOP Embraces Trump-Backed Candidates
Kansas: No one expected very conservative Kansas voters to overwhelmingly reject a ballot initiative to remove the right to abortion from the State Constitution. Donald Trump won the state by almost 15% in 2020, and recent polls showed the question to be close. But yesterday, with a record turnout, voters sent a clear message that they didn't want to allow the GOP-controlled Kansas legislature to outlaw abortion.
New York Times: "The decisive margin — 59 to 41 percent, with about 95 percent of the votes counted — came as a surprise, and after frenzied campaigns with both sides pouring millions into advertising and knocking on doors throughout a sweltering final campaign stretch."
“The voters in Kansas have spoken loud and clear: We will not tolerate extreme bans on abortion,” said Rachel Sweet, the campaign manager for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, which led the effort to defeat the amendment."
It's probably unwise to read too much into just one state's ballot initiative, but the record turnout and huge margin should give Democrats hope that progressive voters will get to the polls in November to support candidates who will protect reproductive freedom.
Politico: “It would have been a victory for Democrats and abortion rights activists if they’d even kept it close in Kansas.”
“Instead, as the heavily Republican state rejected an anti-abortion constitutional amendment, it marked a political earthquake with the potential to reshape the entire midterm campaign.”
“And if the politics of Roe proved fraught for Republicans in Kansas, it’s going to be even more treacherous for the GOP in swing-ier, more moderate swaths of the country.”
Meanwhile in Arizona, GOP voters nominated some very Trumpy election deniers.
PoliticalWire: “Donald Trump-backed candidates pulled ahead in Arizona’s GOP primaries, showing, if early election results hold, a sign of the sway the former president still has over Republicans in the state,” the Arizona Republic reports.
“Blake Masters (R), who’s backed by both Trump and tech investor Peter Thiel, was declared the U.S. Senate primary winner.”
“Mark Finchem was declared the Republican primary winner in the secretary of state race, and Abe Hamadeh led his competitors for attorney general. Both men were Trump-endorsed, and both denied Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in Arizona.”
And in the AZ Governor's race, Trump-endorsed, TV news personality Kari Lake has pulled ahead of Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence and mainstream Republicans in the state. About 80% of the vote has been counted there.
After supporting President Joe Biden in 2020, Arizona is now a swing state, so nominating a bunch of election-denying, anti-abortion, Trump-supporting candidates should provide Democrats an opportunity to hold their Senate seat and capture several state offices this November.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content