WaPo columnist talks to some of the people who voted against banning abortion in Kansas

No matter where you stand on the abortion divide — most people are firmly in the middle somewhere — this column by the Washington Post’s Perry Bacon, Jr. is an interesting read:

Even if all the unaffiliated Kansans who voted last week took the pro-abortion rights stance, the results would have been about 50-50, assuming everyone else voted along party lines. The election results suggestion that more than 80,000 Republicans, around a fifth of those who voted in Kansas last week, also took the pro-abortion rights position, leading to the 59-41 blowout for that side. That’s surprising, at least at first glance. I had assumed that registered Republicans who turn out for primaries would be aligned with the party on one of its long-standing core positions.

But that result didn’t come from nowhere, either. Polls have long suggested that from one-fifth to one-third of Republicans support abortion rights, depending on how the question is phrased. These Republicans can rarely express that preference without voting for a Democratic candidate.

And we know that Americans often have views that conflict with their party’s stands. Measures to raise the minimum wage, expand Medicaid and reduce gerrymandering have passed in red states over the past decade, even as GOP leaders oppose all three positions. A 2020 ballot measure to lift a ban on affirmative action failed in heavily Democratic California.

I asked Melissa Clark, a 42-year-old registered Republican who works in sales in the Kansas City area, what restrictions on abortion she would support. “None,” she replied.

“Politicians should not be involved in health-care decisions,” she wrote. “Women and all humans can make their own healthcare decisions. … I think it is a personal decision that is something that should be left in the hands of the individual under all circumstances.”

“Generally Republicans have gotten more of my votes,” said Cheryl Bannon, a 61-year-old retired title closing officer in the Wichita area who is also a Republican. “I am not in favor of large giveaway programs. However the Republicans are just getting too far out there — ‘don’t touch our rights to buy assault rifles in any way but let’s make women and, yes, children carry embryos to term.’”

Great column by a usually very good Bacon, Jr.

You can read the rest at this link.

Yards signs before the Kansas vote.

Leave a Reply