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How to Interpret the Kansas Referendum on Abortion

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 4 August 2022

⏱️ 23 minutes

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Summary

This episode contains mention of sexual assault. Kansas this week became the first U.S. state since the fall of Roe v. Wade to put the question of abortion directly to the electorate. The result was resounding. Voters chose overwhelmingly to preserve abortion rights, an outcome that could have important political reverberations for the rest of the country. Guest: Mitch Smith, a correspondent covering the Midwest and the Great Plains for The New York Times.

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0:00.0

From the New York Times, I'm Sabrina Taverny-C. This is the Daily.

0:14.0

On Tuesday, Kansas became the first state in the country since the fall of

0:18.1

Roe to put the question of abortion directly to voters. The result was not even close.

0:25.1

My colleague Mitch Smith, on why voters in the conservative state, chose overwhelmingly

0:31.8

to preserve abortion rights. And what the outcome in Kansas does and doesn't mean for

0:37.4

the politics of abortion in the rest of the country.

0:41.4

It's Thursday, August 4th.

0:56.4

So Mitch, you're in Kansas and you've been reporting on the ballot measure on abortion

1:01.5

in the state. Tell us what happened on Tuesday.

1:04.6

Well, first we're seeing just huge turnout across the state.

1:09.7

It's happening in Kansas right now. Look, we don't have. It's too early to call, but turnout

1:15.4

is through the roof.

1:16.4

You're not kidding about turnout. I've seen some estimates that say it could rival 2008

1:20.2

when Obama was first running, which is incredible for a primary unbelievable rate.

1:25.8

Really, really high numbers more than what most people were expecting, even though people

1:30.1

were already really plugged in.

1:32.1

If it were to pass, it would remove a constitutional right to an abortion in the state of Kansas.

1:39.3

Right now, a resounding no vote so far.

1:43.6

So translation there at this point in time, those who want to keep protections in place

1:48.5

for abortion rights have the early leads.

1:51.5

The results start coming in and we start seeing these really large margins, including

1:55.8

in some unexpected places.

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