Given that Kansas has historically been a Republican stronghold, many were watching the vote closely, hoping it might predict the outcome of the midterm elections in November. Ahead of the vote, both sides embarked on a campaigning blitz, with an estimated $12 million poured into everything from TV spots to funding grassroots activists. As a result of both this heavy advertising and the broader media attention focused on the vote, it had an impressive turnout—some 940,000 Kansans showed up to vote.
With this year’s midterms quickly approaching, abortion-rights activists will be harnessing the outrage generated by the Kansas vote to buoy their support in other red states as well as to serve as concrete evidence that public opinion leans largely pro-choice. With few predicting yesterday’s victory, Democrats have finally received an indication that a focus on Roe v. Wade could well be a winning factor in November and will be looking to replicate their successes in Kansas as the long fight to retain control of Congress begins.