A sign of hope…in Kansas

Look at all the happy Kansans.

You know, conservative, flaming red, pro-Trump Kansas, which I’ve long felt was a lost cause? They just voted to protect abortion rights.

In a major victory for abortion rights, Kansas voters on Tuesday rejected an effort to strip away their state’s abortion protections, sending a decisive message about the issue’s popularity in the first political test since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

And look at this!

With 90 percent of the vote counted, 60 percent of voters wanted to maintain those abortion protections compared with 40 percent who wanted to remove them from the state constitution. Turnout for Tuesday’s primary election far exceeded other contests in recent years, with around 900,000 Kansans voting, according to an Associated Press estimate. That is nearly twice as many as the 473,438 who turned out in the 2018 primary election.

November is going to be interesting. Republicans may have finally gone too far.

I guess I was too hasty in writing Kansas off.


  1. says

    I’m not so optimistic because it’s a “ballot direction distortion.” The “yes” vote was to restrict the right, and the “no” vote was to retain the right. That’s opposite of the ordinary “no abortions to be allowed!” rhetoric. Several serious analyses of direct-initiative voting patterns in the last couple of decades show a 5-8% shift in actual counted votes due to this sort of thing.

    It’s still a good thing that, in the worst case, a majority of Kansas voters actually cast ballots against amending the state’s constitution to allow ephemeral majorities in the state legislature to pass statutes restricting abortion. (That’s all this was — an enablement, not an active restriction like in Mississippi.) But at the high end of that range, it brings the actual vote count inside the ordinary 4% margin of error…

  2. Jack Krebs says

    I’m from Kansas, and proud that so many people got energized and got out the vote. The radical right legislature in Kansas does not represent the majority of the people on this issue. The continuing problem is, however, that those radical right people keep getting elected. We need similar passion from the voters on other issues, such as the threat to democracy and climate change, for instance.

  3. wzrd1 says

    I suspect things will get quite lively as November approaches, then, possibly deadly as polls show likely upcoming losses. Arizona had armed police in plainclothes at polls for this election.

    I might have to arm my strategic arsenel of 150 megahertz infiniflatus devices, kept just one finger pull from launch.

  4. tallgrass05 says

    Proponents of the “Yes” vote to amend the Kansas constitution ran many misleading ads. The GOP also already had legislation prepped and ready to go that would have banned abortions in Kansas had the constitution been amended. Note the Catholic Church contributed over $1,000,000 to promote the amendment (so much for separation of church and state). The GOP can still try to pass a number of TRAP laws that would hinder access to abortions in Kansas.

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    Desperate texting scam tries to confuse voters on eve of abortion election

    On Monday, Kansas voters began receiving anonymous, fraudulent, boiler-room text messages reading: “Women in KS are losing their choice on reproductive rights. Voting YES on the Amendment will give women a choice.”
    Fact check: A “yes” vote is a vote to limit women’s choices on reproductive rights. The texts are a deliberate, and desperate, scam to deceive pro-choice voters into voting “yes.”…

    I think most people will figure out that moral people do not lie to further their cause.

  6. raven says

    I was watching a website that had a map of Kansas with counties on it.

    The vote went like you would expect.
    The sparsely populated rural counties with a few thousand people voted mostly to restrict abortion.
    The urban counties with a few hundred thousand people voted mostly No on the constitutional amendment.

  7. says

    A good result, but fascists now realize this will happen everywhere. They’ll say “we have a mandate!” and refuse to let citizens decide, and use “wedge issues” to get elected under false pretenses.

  8. robro says

    The voting is an example of the town versus rural divide in this country. Most of the counties where the measure was defeated are around Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita. Rural Kansas voted for the measure. I suspect you would find this kind of divide in many places like Minnesota, Oregon, and even California.

    Which raises a question: How do we get through to the good folks in rural America that they are wrong and being misled?

  9. birgerjohansson says

    And from Britain we learn that BoJo’s replacement is reassuringly incompetent and unlikely to survive the election in two years.
    Liz Truss made her first U-turn just hours after she made a press release about a new policy that triggered an instant backlash stong enough to enrage the tory backbenchers. She wanted to cut £ 11 billion from the wages of civil servants and NHS workers.
    This U-turn is even more rapid than any Bojo U-turn. May the corrupt weasels all crash and burn.

  10. Larry says

    While this is certainly great news, we need to be continually vigilant. The forced birthers will not quit. Even now, I’m confident that they are planning their next move so as to negate the effects of this vote. As someone previously pointed out, the best way to negate this is to stop electing the cretins who want to impose their church on everyone. In other words, stop voting for the man or woman running as republican. That applies equally from electing a president to the local school board.

  11. robro says

    Akira MacKenzie @ #11 — “Only 60 percent?” Yeah, but in Wyandotte county it was 74%, Johnson county it was 68%, and Douglas county was 81%. Douglas county is where Lawrence is located, home to the University of Kansas. Wyandotte and Johnson are the Kansas side of greater Kansas City. On the other hand, Wallace county had 83% for the measure. Fortunately Wallace county, on the border with Colorado, only had about 500 votes.

  12. dianne says

    I’m going to make a wildly optimistic statement here: I think the deceptive advertising by the Republicans and their ilk is actually a good sign. If they thought that the majority of Kansans were on their side they wouldn’t have run deceptive ads. They knew that restricting* abortion was an unpopular position and were trying to confuse people to sneak it through.

    *At least for wealthy people. Restricting the rights of poor people, i.e. the Hyde amendment, seems to be okay with the majority.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    @13: If they thought that the majority of Kansans were on their side they wouldn’t have run deceptive ads.

    I see your point, but am not sure I agree. Some people get so accustomed to lying that they simply cannot bring themselves to tell a truth.

  14. says

    This is the malicious nature of repugnantcants:
    by Josh Israel – August 1, 2022
    If Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and other congressional Republicans get their way, the week of the election will be >> officially designated in honor of anti-abortion pregnancy centers that misrepresent their purpose, claiming that they provide a range of services for pregnant people, lying about the supposed dangers of abortion, and manipulating patients to reject the procedure. <<

    We live in Arizona, it is now completely controlled by redneck xtian terrorists. AZ sucks!! In 2019 we began research to relocate to a less barbaric state. We are angry and frustreated, the tRUMP plague put al that on hold.

  15. raven says

    …officially designated in honor of anti-abortion pregnancy centers that misrepresent their purpose,…

    Yeah, the crisis pregnancy centers are truly awful.
    Almost all of them aren’t real medical facilities and don’t have any trained and certified medical staff.

    Because of this, they also aren’t covered by HIPAA!!!
    This is important because in Red states they can and will rat you out to the legal authorities in a heartbeat. If you go to one and find out you are pregnant, and that pregnancy doesn’t result in a birth, the Zygote Police can and will pull you in for some hard questioning. “Where is your embryo and what happened to it?”
    If abortion is a felony with up to the death penalty (which it is in some states now and more later) , a visit to a crisis pregnancy center can start you on a long walk to an execution chamber.

    Most people know enough about crisis pregnancy centers to avoid them.
    They are traps that only work on the young and clueless.

    Pregnancy privacy bill proposed in House – Times Observer https://www.timesobserver.com › local-news › 2022/05

    May 6, 2022 — Unlike health care facilities, which are limited by federal HIPAA regulations, crisis pregnancy centers aren’t subject to HIPAA since they …

  16. robro says

    Reginald Sekirk @ #15 — I saw “priest” and went “Oh, really?” Ah but an Episcopal priest…got it. My partner refers to Episcopal as the “non-religion.” In any case, I’ve seen several videos about the position of Judaism on abortion, and similarly Islam. I also saw three women religious leaders…Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic…talking about the position of their religions on abortion and the Catholic…a nun…recognized that the church sees abortion as a big no-no but advocated for a saner, more humane and less absolute approach…at least.

  17. raven says

    Most GOP laws are designed to be cruel and inflict pain and suffering.
    We’ve all seen that over the decades.
    This is why they can claim that a fifth grader being pregnant is actually all right.
    The so called pro lifers are really forced birthers/female slavers.
    Not sure why but inflicting cruelty is one way to show you are in control.

    Asheville Citizen-Times
    Opinion: Flamboyant cruelty is the current Republican ethos
    Pat Brothwell Sun, July 31, 2022 edited for length

    In the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturning, you’ve undoubtedly seen the headline about a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim who had to travel to Indiana to obtain a legal abortion. Madison Cawthorn did.

    On July 14, Cawthorn introduced a bill to “prohibit the use of Federal funds for travel expenses of any individual traveling across State lines for purposes of having an abortion, and for other purposes.” It’s obviously just a publicity grab, as, per reporting by the Citizen-Times. In a statement announcing the bill, Cawthorn did not address the already existing federal rule, the Hyde Amendment, that has prevented the use of federal funds for abortions for three decades, or say why additional restrictions were needed.

    Cawthorn’s actions brought to mind a tweet I saw from television writer Rai Sanni on June 30 that reads, “The only way to describe this series of Supreme Court decisions is flamboyant cruelty.”

    How can we forget the recent flamboyant cruelty of our own North Carolina state Republican senators, Phil Berger, Deanna Ballard, and Michael Lee, who decided to hold a press conference to introduce their “Parental Bill of Rights” (NC’s version of Florida’s hotly contested, and flamboyantly cruel “Don’t Say Gay” bill) just hours after two teachers and 19 children were murdered in Uvalde, Texas?

    LGBTQ+ students already face uphill battles. According to the Trevor Project, 45% of LGBTQ+ youth have seriously considered suicide this past year. If you care about people, that should rattle you. A study from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found that LGBTQ+ youth have a 120% higher risk of homelessness than their straight counterparts, with family rejection being the most frequently cited reason.

    Meriam-Webster defines cruel as “disposed to inflict pain and suffer.” I’d ask anyone reading to interrogate your own penchant for cruelty. I’d ask you to examine the current Republican agenda and tell me how it isn’t flamboyantly cruel. I challenge you to explain how at its base, it isn’t about anything but inflicting pain and suffering.

  18. weekendeditor says

    It appears a lot of people are realizing the red states are at least partially blue states, just captives of gerrymandering.

  19. Steve Morrison says


    Not sure why but inflicting cruelty is one way to show you are in control.

    This is from 1984:

    [O’Brien] paused, and for a moment assumed again his air of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil: ‘How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?’
    Winston thought. ‘By making him suffer,’ he said.
    ‘Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.[…]’

    All too many people do think this way.