What’s wrong with Kan…uh, New Jersey???
If it happens in Kansas, it spills over into New Jersey.
Well, not normally, but maybe today it is.
It certainly didn’t take long for Democrats in Washington and the Garden State to brag that Kansas voters strongly support abortion rights on Tuesday.
“Kansas is proof of that. Americans do not support depriving women of their freedom. Let’s continue the fight. That was Mikie Sherrill’s answer in CD-11.
A few miles south of CD-3, Andy Kim observed that “people understand what is at stake. We need to keep this momentum going and protect these rights across the country. Women’s rights are human rights. Let’s do it.
Kim and Sherrill are two House members seeking re-election in competitive constituencies.
This is hyperbole to some extent, but again, not 100%.
As polarizing an issue as abortion rights are, we can’t forget the playing field. – Kansas, a “red” state that Donald Trump won in 2020 with around 56% of the vote. Restricting or outright prohibiting the right to abortion has long been a GOP goal.
There weren’t many polls on the abortion issue before Tuesday’s vote, but the one I saw had the abortion rights side slightly behind. So either that poll was just plain wrong, or there was a belated attack from pro-choice voters. Probably a combination of the two.
Whatever the reason, about 60% of voters supporting abortion rights in a conservative state cannot be ignored, even with the caveat that every election is different.
Since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, Democrats are determined to make abortion rights, a longstanding party principle, a key midterm issue.
Go ahead, some Republicans said. See how far you’ll go when gas is five bucks a gallon and mothers crave formula. It was a few weeks ago. There are still shortages of formula, but gasoline prices are falling every day.
Clearly, the Kansas vote validates the Democrats’ argument that women’s rights may indeed be more important — at least to some voters — than temporary high prices.
However, the game will be different in November. The Kansas vote, which was effectively a referendum on the state constitution, was singularly focused on one issue: abortion. The midterm election will cover many issues and will also be centered around personalities – namely the people who actually run.
Nevertheless, today’s Democrats are encouraged.
As for the Republican House candidates in contested districts such as 3, 5, 7 and 11, one scrolling through their campaign Facebook pages today found no mention of the Kansas vote. Some talked about attending National Night Out events last night.
Paul DeGroot, who challenges Sherrill, referred to the Democrats’ failure to restore the full federal tax deduction for state and local taxes, or SALT. This is a legitimate question and one that Democrats have been talking about for four years.
All of this misses the point. according to the DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Spokesman James Singer said the Kansas vote is a “warning to all GOP congressional candidates running in New Jersey, all of whom have opposed protecting abortion rights.”
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