1. Kansas voters want to keep abortion rights in their state
Tuesday was an indicator of the fight for the right to abortion in the post-deer world: Would voters in a red state act to maintain access to abortion?
Many Kansas neighbors have banned abortion since deer was overthrown. But abortion opponents needed to change the state constitution before the conservative legislature could do the same. Hence this measure – which has been criticized for being passed in a primary rather than a general election, and for misleading arguments and texts about it on the anti-abortion side.
If passed, the measure could have ended abortion access for thousands of women from the Midwest and Texas who traveled to Kansas for abortion care.
In the end, it wasn’t even close: With almost all results, nearly 60% of voters rejected this amendment, compared to about 40% in favor of amending the state constitution to allow the ban on abortion.
Polls had suggested the measure could go either way, but Kansas is also a red state (albeit with a Democratic governor). So what led to this somewhat surprising result? Motivated Democratic voters. Other than this ballot initiative, there weren’t many reasons for them to come and vote in this primary. Still, Democratic turnout was up more than 60%, compared to 2018, when Kansas Democrats were deciding who their gubernatorial candidate should be.
Clearly, abortion can help motivate left-leaning voters to show up at the polls.
This is good news for Democrats across the country who are hoping to recreate that same dynamic in their races.
2. Holocaust deniers have a good night
If nothing else, this primary season has shown that, for many Republicans, denying the 2020 election results is the price of admission. A Washington Post analysis in June found that more than 100 Republican primary winners backed former President Donald Trump’s false campaign claims.
That number is expected to rise a little after Tuesday’s full results are released — especially in Arizona, which has become a hotbed of election denialism.
Results are still being counted in some races, but it’s possible that candidates who back Trump’s false claims of voter fraud could be nominated to four of Arizona’s highest offices: governor, U.S. Senate, secretary of state. and Attorney General.
Holocaust denier Blake Masters won the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in Arizona on Tuesday. Arizona Republicans also nominated Mark Finchem for Secretary of State. He is a major driver of the misconception that the election was stolen in Arizona’s second-largest county, Pima County.
The GOP primary for Arizona governor is too close to call, but voters may choose Kari Lake, another Trump-backed shameless Holocaust denier of the 2020 election results, who has said that if she elected, she would try to get rid of voting machines and vote by mail — even though most Arizonans vote that way.
Results are still coming in for the Arizona attorney general’s Republican primary, but the winner will likely be one of the two candidates who embraced the election decline.
Whether these candidates win the general election in November, in a state that voted for Joe Biden, is another question. Republicans rightly fear that Masters is too polarizing to unseat well-known (and well-funded) Senator Mark Kelly (D). “Whatever their ability to cheat, I’m pretty sure they pulled out all the stops,” Masters said of the 2020 election.
Kelly was expected to be one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable senators in 2022. His path is potentially easier now that his opponent is Masters, who has Trump’s endorsement and has been accused of making anti-Semitic and racist comments.
Republicans may have more problems in Kansas, where former Secretary of State Kris Kobach won his party’s nomination for attorney general, giving him a second political life. Kobach ran for governor in 2018 and lost to Democrat Laura Kelly. Kansas voters then viewed his focus on voter fraud as unnecessary; it’s unclear if he can win statewide.
3. Another pro-impeachment Republican loses his job
Tuesday was also one of the biggest tests of this primary season on how GOP voters feel about Republicans who backed Trump’s impeachment. Three of the 10 House Republicans who voted for impeachment faced pro-Trump challengers this week.
Rep. Peter Meijer in Michigan lost his primary to far-right candidate John Gibbs. (Democrats also supported Gibbs — so much so that they ran a controversial ad for him, receiving widespread criticism from their own party for encouraging an election denier.)
In Washington state, two House Republicans who voted for impeachment — Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse — had a better night. They look set to finish in the top two of their primaries, which will allow them to advance to the general election in November against Democratic opponents. For Newhouse, who represents a Republican district, that likely means he will be back in Congress next year.
4. GOP breathes sigh of relief in Missouri Senate race
The last thing Senate Republicans in Washington wanted was for disgraced former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, ousted from office after allegations of sexual misconduct and now facing child abuse charges. , wins his party’s Senate nomination and could potentially put that open seat on the line. Republicans are already battling controversial Senate candidates in Georgia and Pennsylvania, which could cost them a shot at a Senate majority.
Missouri, which has seen a strong conservative streak over the past decade, should be an easy win for them.
And it looks like it always will: Greitens lost the GOP primary, despite appearing to be the frontrunner for much of the race. Instead, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) will be the party’s nominee. Trump, who would have loved Greitens, dodged the decision of who to support, endorsing “ERIC” (no last name) on primary day.
How a rush for Trump’s Mo endorsement ended in nonsense: Vote ‘ERIC’
5. Key Jan 6 witness loses primary race
Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers (R) is no slouch when it comes to conservative views. But he also refused multiple efforts by Trump and his allies to find a way to convene the state legislature in 2020 and overturn that state’s election results from Biden to Trump, which likely would have been illegal. He testified about his experience before the United States House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. “I said, ‘Listen, you’re asking me to do something that’s against my oath,'” Bowers said.
Partly because he’s become so well known for it, Bowers lost a state Senate primary race to former state senator David Farnsworth on Tuesday — something he fully expected, Yvonne reported. The Post’s Wingett Sanchez.