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[WATCH] Kansas Abortion Vote Lifts Dems, But Will It Translate Into Stronger Midterms?

[WATCH] Kansas Abortion Vote Lifts Dems, But Will It Translate Into Stronger Midterms?

Voters in Kansas showed up at the polls on Tuesday to keep abortion legal in the traditionally conservative state, voting overwhelmingly to back a measure protecting abortion rights.

Seen as a win for both abortion rights activists and Democrats alike, President Joe Biden hailed the vote in Kansas as the direct result of outrage at the Supreme Court’s decision in June to repeal a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion. It’s an indicator for Republicans that threats to abortion rights, even in Red states, may energize Democrats in a way few political issues can. And it comes at a moment when the Democratic Party is gaining momentum on other fronts, including the surprise legislative package to reduce prescription drug prices, combat climate change and raise taxes on corporations announced by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who also hailed the Kansas vote as the political winds “blowing at Democrats.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., before an event in the Indian Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus in Washington, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

 

Every Democratic win matters at a time when Republicans are working hard to challenge election results in their attempt to regain control of the House and Senate. But a voting base motivated by anger over abortion rights, gun violence, climate change, and the fallout from the January 6th hearings may just create enough momentum to return overwhelming results showing a clear choice for the Democratic ticket.

The challenge for Democrats will be to maintain the energy for several more months and defy trends that typically trip up the party in power. But since the Biden administration is following the Trump administration, the baggage Republicans carry from the damage done by the January 6th hearings and Trump’s various legal issues are starting to weigh them down to the point where some have quietly begun aligning with new MAGA darling Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).

Democrats have tried (without much success) to energize supporters by focusing on abortion for years. But the Supreme Court’s decision clarified the stakes as never before. Without a new federal law, abortion rights now fall to the states, and in 12 states led by Republicans, abortion has already been banned or heavily restricted. Many more are expected to follow, which inevitably could help Democrats in November.

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