In Ohio, the amendment to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution passed easily by a margin of 57%-43%. This adds to the number of states including red ones like Kansas and Kentucky that, in the wake of the US Supreme court to overturn Roe v. Wade, passed state constitution amendments to restore the right to abortion.You may recall that the Republican legislature in Ohio, seeing the writing on the wall, tried to thwart this by suddenly putting a ballot issue in August, when hardly anyone votes, that would have raised the threshold for passing constitutional amendments to 60%. But vigorous campaigning by abortion rights advocates defeated that measure, enabling the right to abortion to pass yesterday. Recreational use of marijuana also passed by 57%-43%.
In Kentucky, another red state, incumbent Democratic governor Andy Beshear fought off a Republican challenger backed by serial sex abuser Trump (SSAT) to win a second term fairly easily by a margin of 53-47%. Since the legislature is controlled by Republicans, he is the only person standing in the way of them pursuing their extreme agendas. But he is by no means a progressive, since he considers himself to be pro-life and pro-gun.It is just that he was not as extreme as his his opponent. He had won his first term by building a coalition to defeat an unpopular incumbent and won 19 eastern counties won SSAT. It was not clear if that coalition would hold this time around. It did.
Also Dan McCaffery won a hotly contested open seat 53%-47% on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court after positioning himself as a defender of abortion rights, extending the Democratic majority on the court.
All 40 senate seats and 100 seats in house of delegates of the Virginia legislature were also up for grabs. In the outgoing body, Democrats controlled the senate 22-17 with one vacancy and Republicans had a majority of 48-46 of delegates with six vacancies. Republican governor Glenn Youngkin had campaigned to flip at least two senate seats so that Republicans would have majorities in both houses so that he could pass strict anti-abortion and other right-wing measures. But in a stunning reversal, Democrats not only retained the senate but they flipped the house of delegates. At present the Democrats lead in the senate 21-17 with two races still to be called, while they lead in the house 51-45 with four races still undecided.
One of the Virginia house races I was following was that of Democrat Susanna Gibson whom some of you may recall was attacked by Republicans because she and her husband had streamed sex acts online. Although it was perfectly legal, I feared that prudish voters would not be able to overcome their prejudices. Sad to say, she lost 51%-48%, It was close, though.