Six takeaways from the Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Arizona and Washington primaries

The Kansas vote was one of the first tests of the power of abortion rights at the ballot box since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and to end federal abortion access protection.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, local election officials were still counting votes to determine whether a statewide slate of candidates who had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and promoted his lies about fraud election had won their Republican primaries.

In Missouri, the political comeback of a former governor has been halted. And in Michigan, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump was ousted, as the game was set for what will be one of the key gubernatorial races this fall.

Kansas upholds constitutional right to abortion

Kansas voters sent a dramatic message on Tuesday, choosing to keep abortion rights in their state constitution just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Polls have long shown that voters overwhelmingly support protecting abortion rights. But the victory of the “no” vote in Kansas is proof of that and signals that the Supreme Court’s ruling has further angered voters and possibly changed the politics of the issue ahead of the November election.

The “no” leaves the state constitution unchanged. While state lawmakers can always try to pass restrictive abortion laws, Kansas courts have recognized the right to abortion under the state constitution.

Perhaps the biggest warning to Republicans, many of whom have trumpeted Roe’s overthrow and backed pushes for tougher abortion laws, is the voter turnout in Kansas. With 78% of the vote on Tuesday night, nearly 700,000 people voted in the primary, a figure that already eclipses the turnout for the 2020 presidential primary.

“This is further proof of what poll after poll has told us: Americans support abortion rights,” said Christina Reynolds, a senior official at Emily’s List, an organization that seeks to elect women. who support abortion rights. “They think we should be able to make our own health care decisions, and they will vote accordingly, even in the face of misleading campaigns.”

Greitens comeback attempt falls flat

Missouri Republicans breathed a sigh of relief after State Attorney General Eric Schmitt won the open Senate primary, according to a CNN projection.

Perhaps more important than who won, however, in the dark red state is who lost: disgraced former governor Eric Greitens, who was attempting a political comeback. Greitens quit in 2018 amid a sex scandal and an accusation of campaign misconduct, and later faced allegations of abuse by his ex-wife, which he denied

Schmitt, the attorney general, emerged from a packed field that included two members of Congress, Representatives Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long.

Former President Donald Trump stayed out of the race, issuing a tongue-in-cheek statement supporting “Eric” on the eve of the primary – leaving it up to voters to interpret whether that meant Schmitt or Greitens.

A member of the ‘impeachment 10’ is beaten

Representative Peter Meijer became the second of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in a primary on Tuesday, losing to Trump-endorsed conservative challenger John Gibbs, according to CNN.

Democrats played a role in bolstering Gibbs — a calculated move that became a flashpoint, angering some anti-Trump Democrats and Republicans.

Meijer, a freshman, voted to impeach Trump just days after he took office following the January 6, 2021, uprising. Gibbs, meanwhile, backed Trump’s lies about widespread election fraud of 2020.

Meijer’s loss means the Grand Rapids-based 3rd District seat will be one of the House’s most competitive contests in November’s midterm elections.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, viewing the seat as a possible pickup opportunity, spent more than $300,000 on TV ads seeking to bolster Gibbs with pro-Trump GOP primary voters by portraying him as a Trump-aligned conservative. .

In Washington, two other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, were trying to survive their own primaries. The state’s open, nonpartisan primary system in which the top two, regardless of party, qualify for the November general election has made them tougher targets for Trump and his supporters.

Strangers in Arizona

Arizona’s race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination could hinge on whether former President Donald Trump’s supporters turn out in force on Election Day in a state that conducts its contests largely by mail.

Karrin Taylor Robson, a former Arizona board member who is backed by former Vice President Mike Pence and incumbent Governor Doug Ducey, ran former TV reporter Kari Lake, a Holocaust-approved denier. Trump, in the first returns Wednesday morning.

But the early results were largely mail-in ballots. Votes cast on Election Day were expected to favor Lake — the result of Trump’s years-long effort to undermine confidence in mail-in voting.

The Arizona governor’s primary was the most important contest in a series of primaries that tested Trump’s influence on the GOP.

If Trump’s statewide slate of candidates in Arizona qualify for the general election, they would be able to take over the electoral machinery of one of the most important presidential battleground states in the world. country if they won in November.

Blake Masters, the Trump-endorsed venture capitalist backed by millions in spending from GOP megadonor Peter Thiel, led the state’s GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.

State Rep. Mark Finchem, a Trump-backed “Stop the Steal” activist who has said the state legislature should be able to overturn the will of voters in presidential elections, led the GOP primary for the post of Secretary of State. Democrats saw a close race between Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and State Rep. Reginald Bolding.

And in the race for attorney general, Trump’s preferred nominee, Holocaust denier Abraham Hamadeh, was in the lead.

But there was one person who challenged Trump and his election lies ousted on Tuesday, according to a CNN projection: Rusty Bowers, the speaker of the Arizona House. Bowers testified in June about the pressure he faced to overturn the state’s 2020 election results from former President Donald Trump and others. In return, he was censured by his party, branded “unfit to serve” – and has now lost his primary for a state senate seat.

Dixon’s victory in Michigan governor’s race sets up referendum on Covid policies

Tudor Dixon, the Trump-endorsed conservative commentator in the final days of the race and backed by large factions of Michigan’s Republican establishment, won the state’s GOP primary to face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, projected CNN.
8 things to watch for in Tuesday's primaries

The Michigan showdown could be one of the most competitive gubernatorial races in the nation.

Whitmer has cast herself as a bulwark for abortion rights in a state where Republicans have sought to enforce a 1931 law that would impose a near-total ban on abortion.

Dixon, meanwhile, called the race in her victory speech on Tuesday night a referendum on restrictions imposed by Whitmer during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dixon, a mother of four who is supported by the family of former education secretary Betsy DeVos, is also an advocate for school choice – potentially positioning education as a key issue in the mid-term election. – November mandate.

Progressives suffer another defeat in Michigan

Rep. Haley Stevens’ predicted Democratic primary victory in Michigan’s newly drawn 11th congressional district over fellow Rep. Andy Levin marks another blow to progressives in what has been a rather busy primary season. disappointing.

It’s also a resounding victory for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, and its super PAC, the United Democracy Project, which has spent millions supporting moderate and more staunchly pro-Israel candidates in the Democratic primaries.

Stevens and Levin both support Israel, but Levin — who is Jewish — has been more willing to criticize his government’s treatment of Palestinians and is the main sponsor of the Two-State Solution Act.

Progressive Democrats, frequently targeted by AIPAC spending this primary season, have railed against fellow Democrats for accepting or courting the group’s support, which has also contributed to Republican Holocaust deniers. AIPAC has defended the practice, arguing that its political goals need bipartisan support.

J Street, a pro-Israel liberal group that has opposed AIPAC, tried to spur Levin with a $700,000 ad buy in July, but that sum pales in comparison to the millions provided by AIPAC and to more than 4 million dollars spent by the UDP.

About Wanda Reilly

Check Also

Jordan steps up restrictions on political dissent, Human Rights Watch says

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com Register AMMAN, September 18 (Reuters) – Over …