The Dog That Caught The Car

On Tuesday, Kansas voters voted against amending their state constitution to abolish abortion. The voters were given the opportunity to do so courtesy of the Supreme Court, which overturned Roe v Wade in June.

This came as a surprise to a lot of people who have not been paying attention to what has been happening in this country since the Dobbs decision was first leaked in May. I wrote this right after Dobbs was handed down:

I’m not sure why anyone expects women to run and hide after this ruling. I know there’s a hope that inflation or something else will come along and people move beyond the overturning of Roe on Election Day. That’s not going to happen. None of the women—and men—who saw the extremists in the GOP for who they are will forget what happened on Friday. We won’t forget. And we won’t go back. 

One group that was wrong were those who said that Dobbs didn’t mean anything in the larger political landscape and that it wouldn’t matter to voters. Well, it meant a lot to voters. This was the first sign I saw on Tuesday that gave me hope:

Unaffiliated voters can’t vote in primaries in Kansas, but they can vote on constitutional amendments, and they turned out. And they turned out in favor of choice. The initiative was buried in this primary election because the ballot was mainly Republicans and Kansas Democrats have an extremely low primary participation rate. Not this year.

And it wasn’t just that turnout was up—voter registration surged after Dobbs was handed down too:

And even more telling, this was the makeup of those newly registered voters:

And while abortion doesn’t always rank at the top of what voters are concerned about in polling—although, NEWS FLASH, ABORTION IS AN ECONOMIC ISSUE BECAUSE HAVING KIDS ISN’T FREE—it certainly was a motivating factor in this election:

And it wasn’t just newly registered Democrats who turned out. Republicans voted to keep abortion legal too:

Access to abortion is a very popular issue. The Democrats need to run on it. And oh yeah–voting works.

The Smiths can have the last word:



2 thoughts on “The Dog That Caught The Car

  1. One of multiple parallels to 2018 is how pretty much the same pundits who scoffed at the idea that ending Roe would increase turnout are the same ones who scoffed that the gun marches after Parkland would result in increased midterms turnout. Welp.

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