Kansas upset shows how abortion may backfire on the GOP in 2022 midterms
Activists supporting a woman's right to choose to have an abortion protested in March 2020 outside the US Supreme Court(AFP)

Election experts were stunned by a Tuesday vote on an abortion constitutional amendment which may show the Republican Party dramatically out of step with voters after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.

In the confusingly-worded initiative, the "no side" to protect women's rights won the election, according to projections by NBC News and the Associated Press.

Mark Joseph Stern, a legal correspondent for Slate, noted how the judiciary was impacting the electorate.

"The anti-abortion movement has long claimed that voters would reward Republicans for overturning Roe," Stern wrote. "Conservative lawyers and many GOP politicians convinced themselves this was true. They are now discovering how delusional that conviction has always been."

"Remember that Republicans scheduled the Kansas abortion referendum for the primary rather than the general election because there are many more registered Republicans in the state than Democrats and unaffiliateds can’t vote in primary races," Stern said. "Abortion rights still won handily."

"Wow. Kansas," veteran broadcast Dan Rather said. "Might be time to reshuffle the conventional wisdom deck for the midterms."

Pollster John Della Volpe wrote, "Why people are surprised about Kansas turnout is beyond me. They are trying to outlaw abortion!!! In 2022."

"I’m a professional. This is not popular," Volpe concluded.

Conservative radio host Todd Starnes blamed the right-wing groups fixated on outlawing abortion.

"That Kansas abortion vote is what happens when pro-life groups don't listen to the political experts. What a mess," he wrote.

NBC News correspondent Dasha Burns noted Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab said turnout, "could be almost 50%. And at that point, you're looking at general election numbers...it's looking a lot like the 2008 turnout for the Obama Presidential race. So it's incredibly high turnout."

Burns' analysis was, "THIS. IS. BIG."

"Turnout is typically low for a primary election, in which Democrats rarely have competitive races and unaffiliated voters typically can’t participate," the Kansas Reflector reported. "This year, they can vote on the amendment."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (DB-WA), who chairs the Progressive Caucus, praised the outcome.

"This is a huge victory for abortion rights and reproductive health everywhere," Jayapal posted to Twitter. "Thank you, Kansas!"

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