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What does Kansas tell us about November?

John Sutter: Voters in Kansas rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have endangered the availability of abortion in the state. He says the result in Kansas was remarkable and unexpected, but what it means about what happens in November is less clear. In every single county, the results on the amendment question were to the left of the 2020 results, he says. Sutter says it's a reminder that the constitutional amendment vote may be the exception, not the rule of the blue vote in the blue state, but not one that should be seen entirely as a bolt of out the blue, Sutter writes. In counties that voted for the amendment, “no” got about 15 percent more raw votes than did Joe Biden in 2020, he writes.

A large part of the reason that the proposed amendment failed was that it was largely separate from partisan politics and political candidates. When you are voting on a governor or a senator, you're voting on their support for or opposition to abortion — and a galaxy of other things. Voters in Kansas and elsewhere will not go to the polls in November to vote for representatives who will only vote on abortion. Some voters will absolutely turn out to shift elected leadership toward protection of abortion — but many will be motivated to turn out for other reasons.