Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. Despite deep economic problems, are some favorable signs for Democrats in the 2022 midterms.
The wording of the question was convoluted, but the answer was crystal clear: No. Voters in Kansas on Tuesday, in dramatic numbers and by an overwhelming margin, rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed lawmakers to ban abortion in the state.
As Republican-controlled state legislatures around the country race to outlaw the procedure in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, traditionally conservative Kansas, given the chance to directly respond at the ballot box, denied their own elected leaders’ the chance to revoke a right that has broad support across swaths of independent polling.
The rejection of the measure highlighted the increasingly stark divide between the activities of Republican state lawmakers, often in legislatures gerrymandered to effectively guarantee GOP control, and the political and policy desires of American voters. In more immediate terms, the ballot measure’s defeat – on a day of extraordinary turnout – also provides a clear indication that the desire to defend abortion rights could be a potent issue for Democrats in the coming midterm elections.
The Dobbs decision engaged women in Kansas to an unprecedented degree.— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) August 3, 2022
This chart shows the percent of new registrants in the state who were women (as a 7 day average). Note the spike after the Dobbs decision leaked, and huge jump after the Supreme Court handed it down. pic.twitter.com/pvi3WpuR86
Of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, only those who went on to compete in non-traditional Republican primaries have, so far, fended off Trump-backed rivals.
On Tuesday, three pro-impeachment Republicans: Peter Meijer of Michigan and Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington were on the ballot. Meijer was defeated by a Trump-backed rival, John Gibbs. And, at the time of this writing, Herrera Beutler and Newhouse, appear to be headed to a general election for their races.
The difference? Washington is a state that has an open, non-partisan system that allows the top two finishers in each contest to compete against each other in the general election. This is the model, known as a “jungle primary,” that also facilitated pro-impeachment California Republican David Valadao’s advancement to a general election.
Those three–Herrera Beutler, Newhouse, and Valadao–are the only pro-impeachment Republicans, to date, to survive their primaries.