The resounding victory for abortion rights in Kansas offers some of the most concrete evidence yet that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn women’s constitutional right to an abortion has shifted the political landscape.
The referendum vote in Kansas, a reliably Republican state, was a victory for abortion rights by a 59-41 margin. The vote suggests Democrats will be the energized party on the issue now, whereas typically conservatives have had more of an advantage in energizing their base.
The Kansas vote also implies that about 65 percent of voters across the nation would reject a similar initiative to roll back abortion rights, including in more than 40 or the 50 states. There are a few states on either side of the aisle that is close to a 50-50 split.
While these numbers are rough estimates, experts say by analyzing the demographic characteristics predicted in the results of recent abortion referendums, abortion rights will win nationwide.
This is based on the evidence that if abortion rights win 59 percent support in Republican-held Kansas, it is doing even better nationwide.
This upholds national surveys recently that have shown greater support for legal abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which 50 years prior had established the federal constitutional right to an abortion.
There was a massively high turnout in Kansas, especially among Democrats. This confirms too that abortion is not just some wedge issue of importance to political activists, but that abortion policy has massively high stakes, and that these are high enough to drive people to vote.
There was not much public polling in the run-up to the Kansas vote. But the outcome was surprisingly decisive. Abortion rights were won by a landslide in Kansas.
Women’s rights experts and election analysts warn that by no means does this outcome mean the fight is over for abortion rights.