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Kansas Result Suggests 4 Out of 5 States Would Back Abortion Rights in Similar Vote - The New York Times

Kansas Result Suggests 4 Out of 5 States Would Back Abortion Rights in Similar Vote - The New York Times

Kansas Result Suggests 4 Out of 5 States Would Back Abortion Rights in Similar Vote - The New York Times
Aug 04, 2022 1 min, 38 secs

Instead, Tuesday’s resounding victory for abortion rights supporters in Kansas offered some of the most concrete evidence yet that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v.

The Kansas vote implies that around 65 percent of voters nationwide would reject a similar initiative to roll back abortion rights, including in more than 40 of the 50 states (a few states on each side are very close to 50-50).

But it is an evidence-based way of arriving at a fairly obvious conclusion: If abortion rights wins 59 percent support in Kansas, it’s doing even better than that nationwide.

In a Times compilation of national polling published this spring, 48 percent of Kansas voters said they thought abortion should be mostly legal compared with 47 percent who thought it should be mostly illegal.

Similarly, the Cooperative Election Study in 2020 found that the state’s registered voters were evenly split on whether abortion should be legal.

It may seem surprising that abortion supporters would even have a chance in Kansas, given the state’s long tradition of voting for Republicans.

The likeliest explanations for the surprise: Voters may be more supportive of abortion rights in the aftermath of the overturning of Roe (as national polls imply); they may be more cautious about eliminating abortion rights now that there are real policy consequences to these initiatives; abortion rights supporters may be more energized to go to the polls.

Whatever the explanation, if abortion supporters could fare as well as they did in Kansas, they would have a good chance to defend abortion rights almost anywhere in the country.

While the Kansas figures are still preliminary, it appears that registered Democrats were likelier to vote than registered Republicans.

The Democratic tally amounted to 56 percent of the number of registered Democrats in the state, while the number of Republican primary voters was 53 percent of the number of registered Republicans.

In Johnson County, outside Kansas City, 67 percent of registered Democrats turned out, compared with 60 percent of registered Republicans.


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