The who's happy test.
Saline County sits, more or less, in the middle of Kansas. Salina is its county seat. It’s a fairly good bellwether, usually running 6-10 percent more “red” than the state as a whole. In the 2020 presidential election, President Trump received 64 percent of the vote in Saline County. Joe Biden received 33 percent. Mr. Trump received 56% of the statewide vote in Kansas that year. Mr. Biden received 41%.
In yesterday’s primary election, Saline County’s electorate voted against a constitutional amendment that would have stripped out protections for abortion rights. The margin was 55 percent to 45%. The final statewide tally on the constitutional amendment was 59% against, 41% in favor. Pre-election polling had pointed to a close contest. It turned out to be a landslide.
The question is whether yesterday’s results mean anything beyond what they mean in Kansas. The answer is we don’t know. It is safe to say they mean something.
Ever since the Roe v. Wade decision, Republicans have used the abortion issue to attract support from (mostly) white evangelical Christians and ethnic Catholics and to paint Democrats as baby-killers. It was a perfect issue in that no one ever expected the Court to reverse its decision, so Republican candidates up and down the ballot could pledge allegiance to the cause secure in the knowledge that the cause was forever lost. GOP political consultants compared the abortion issue to a dog chasing a car. The dog would bark and run and bark and run but it would never catch the car.
And then it did.
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