Going into this year’s off-year elections we were bombarded with terrible polling numbers for Joe Biden, finally culminating the weekend before the election with yet another New York Times/Siena swing state poll which showed us that everyone hates Joe Biden: women, Black people, young people, white people, even kids with chicken pox. The entire polling arc had had the faintest whiff of voter suppression, but on Sunday the stink became pretty obvious.
I’m not here to delve into this most likely meaningless poll. But on an Election Day where all eyes were on women voters, one of the poll’s findings seemed wrong: that only 52% of women were definitely going to vote in the next presidential election. The other thing that seemed weird about the flood of polls looking at the presidential race was that almost no attention paid to the hottest hot button election item for the foreseeable future: the overturning of Roe v Wade.
What was missing from the fake polling hype was a deep look into the second part of a 2 step process to ban abortion in Ohio. You will remember that Ohio held a special election in August to add an amendment to the state constitution which would raise the threshold for approving a new amendment to 60%, and just like every other time abortion has been specifically on the ballot, the pro-choice crowd won.
Early exit polling from Ohio on Tuesday afternoon showed an electorate that was still angry about Roe’s being overturned and that metric proved prescient when voters chose to enshrine abortion rights—or more properly described, in my opinion, the right to body autonomy—in the Ohio constitution. In the days leading up to the election the Ohio GOP pulled out all the stops complete with this idiotic tweet by Ohio’s state clown, J.D. Vance:
Today is Election Day in Ohio. Vote NO on Issue 1!
There’s been a lot of lies out there from the Yes campaign. People do in fact abort healthy late term pregnancies. Issue 1 doesn’t make it illegal to have a miscarriage. Think for yourself and vote no!
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) November 7, 2023
I laughed at this because, yes, it was important to make abortion access a highlight of the messaging, but Vance’s lies were so cartoony that it only underscored his stupid lie.
Over in Kentucky, Andty Bashear made access to women’s reproductive healthcare one of the main pillars of his campaign, and on Tuesday it paid off for him. Bashear improved his share of the vote all over the state, which meant there were plenty of crossover GOP votes. The most important takeaway from the Kentucky results–and we need to shout this at the DNC with phone calls, emails, and letters–is that running on access to women’s healthcare is absolutely a winning issue for Democrats. Republicans have nowhere to hide on this issue, and securing access to women’s reproductive healthcare is now a bipartisan issue.
The third state of note on Tuesday night where abortion was unofficially on the ballot was Virginia, where Governor Fleece Vest, desperate to launch a campaign to take over from Ron DeSantis as the number 1 loser to TFG, let everyone know on the Sunday before a state election that he was ready to sign a 15 week abortion ban if a newly-elected Republican state legislature put it on his desk. OK. Great timing, huh?
You might be surprised to learn that Governor FV has a decent approval rating in Virginia. Don’t be—the only reason he does is because he hasn’t been able to get anything MAGA passed because the Democrats control the state Senate. And the best part about all of that is that this is the woman who is in charge of the Virginia Senate:
— L. Louise Lucas (@SenLouiseLucas) November 8, 2023
I love her so much.
And across Virginia, Democrats made abortion access a priority, with the result that they now control both houses in Richmond, so Governor FV is pretty much out of luck now in his quest to rack up the MAGA credentials he craves so desperately. It was also extra satisfying because he was hoist by his own petard with his comments on Sunday.
It was a good night, and a good reminder that polls don’t vote. People do.
Here’s a song about not giving up.