Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. Abortion was a big issue in the 2022 midterm. It will probably be a big issue in 2024.
On Tuesday, Ohio voters handed the state’s Republican legislature, and its Issue 1, a stinging defeat. By an overwhelming margin, they followed a 2022 pro-abortion rights trend set by voters in other states, including red ones like Kansas, Kentucky and Montana.
They also sent a 2024 message for national politicians.
Following the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade, voters in the three Republican-majority states named above — like voters in Democratic-majority Vermont, Michigan and California — stood up for their right to be free of government attempts to enter family homes and end women’s bodily freedom. More on that in a moment.
In Ohio, Issue 1 was an anti-abortion wolf in constitutional process clothing. Everyone knew the Ohio legislators’ cynical anti-choice motive animating the measure. They were changing the rules for amending the state’s constitution in an attempt to accomplish their aims by stealth.
Fervent GOP opponents of abortion rights sponsored Issue 1 to raise the threshold on citizens’ ability to establish those rights through the ballot box. If voters had approved it, Issue 1 would have raised the minimum required to adopt new constitutional provisions by popular vote, like one set for abortion rights in November, from a simple majority to 60 percent of voters. The current requirement, 50 percent plus one vote, has been in place since 1912.