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Opinion Why Kansas’s abortion vote doesn’t spell doom for Republicans

Ruben Navarrette: Democrats salivating at prospect that Kansas vote on abortion rights might give them a way out of midterms. He says California's 1978 vote for Prop 13 was an earthquake for its time, when 65 percent of Californians voted to go in the opposite direction. Republicans sprang into action almost overnight to make dramatic tax-cutting a signature issue for the fall midterms, he says. The GOP gained only 15 House seats and remained utterly powerless in California, but Democrats continued to dominate the state’s congressional delegation, he writes. The same result occurred in the California legislature, where Republican gains were small and Democrats still easily controlled both chambers, he adds. He writes: Voters do not automatically associate a party with a position on a ballot initiative.

Polls show that Americans tend to support abortion rights in the early stages of pregnancy. The fact that nearly 60 percent of Kansas voters endorsed that view is incredibly important for national politics. The challenge for Republicans is to avoid that conundrum.