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August 09, 2023 11:07 AM UTC

The Stove is Hot; Stop Touching the Stove

  • by: Colorado Pols
An Ohio ballot measure seeking to make it harder for an abortion rights proposal to pass in November went down in flames on Tuesday.

Republicans are still not learning their lesson on the issue of abortion rights.

The big political news on Tuesday came out of Ohio, where voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure — dubbed “Issue 1” — that was a not-very-subtle attempt by right-wing interests to make it harder for abortion rights advocates to pass their own ballot measure in November. As The Washington Post reports:

For more than a century, Ohioans have been able to amend the state constitution with a simple majority. The failed measure would have changed that threshold to 60 percent.

With about 88 percent of votes counted Tuesday night, 56.5 percent voted against the proposal, while 43.5 percent supported it. The Associated Press projected the measure would fail.

Republican state lawmakers decided to try to make it tougher to amend the constitution as reproductive rights advocates gathered signatures of support this spring for a November measure that would guarantee access to abortion. Because of those stakes, Tuesday’s election became a proxy fight over abortion, which is expected to again be a defining issue in the 2024 election.

As the Post notes, Ohio Republicans were clear from the outset that “Issue 1” was an attempt to prevent the passage of a separate abortion rights proposal that is almost certain to receive a majority of YES votes in November. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose was a vocal supporters of the idea, using it to drum up conservative support for his bid to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2024. LaRose may have helped himself with the MAGA crowd, but not with the majority of Ohio voters; “Issue 1” didn’t just lose — it was CRUSHED.

As Aaron Blake writes in a separate commentary for The Washington Post, the demise of “Issue 1” is “another sizable loss for antiabortion forces in the ballot wars”:

The abortion rights position had won in all six states that featured such ballot measures after Roe was overturned last summer, including taking between 52 percent and 59 percent in a trio of red states. So with a constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights set for Ohio’s ballot this November, Republicans tried to preemptively raise the threshold for passing it and other measures to 60 percent.

They came up very short, leaving Ohio much more likely to soon join those six states in having voters side with abortion rights post-Roe. (The other six: California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont.) [Pols emphasis]

Given how those states voted — the measures in Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky dealt specifically with constitutional rights to abortion — it seems logical that between 50 and 60 percent of Ohio voters will favor the November amendment.

In 2024, voters in Maryland and New York will probably approve ballot measures to increase access to abortion rights in those states. Several other states — including Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota — are in the process of placing abortion-related measures on the ballot in 2024. In Colorado, abortion rights are expected to be on the ballot in 2024 with a constitutional measure upholding them as well as ensuring abortion insurance coverage for public employees.

Colorado might yet see another attempt to ban abortion if this poorly-worded garbage is approved by a title board and supporters are able to collect enough signatures to get it on the 2024 ballot. To the extent that smart Republicans still exist here, they should absolutely do everything in their power to make sure that another anti-abortion measure does NOT appear in Colorado, where Democrats could use it to drum up turnout that benefits candidates up and down the ticket. Since 2000, every single abortion restriction proposal in Colorado has been thrashed at the polls; that trend would undoubtedly continue in 2024.

But if past is prologue, Republicans will keep reaching out and touching that hot stove…and keep coming away with burns.


9 thoughts on “The Stove is Hot; Stop Touching the Stove

  1. "poorly worded garbage……" It's not so much poorly worded as it attempts to elevate one definition of when human life begins; at conception; over other religious viewpoints. Those include human life starting at birth and when a fetus is able to survive outside the womb, with medical assistance. That's usually around 23-24 weeks.

  2. It seems to me that there is a huge opportunity not being utilized much yet by progressives – and that is the abandonment of conservative values such as "freedom" and "liberty." Today's Republican Party does NOT want you to have either, and clearly does not want power for the many. Progressives and the Democratic Party are far more committed to preserving individual freedoms, liberty, and the power of individuals for self-determination than today's christian nationalist authoritarian GOP.

    I sat through a county Republican meeting recently with presentations about the evils of public schools. One attendee advocated for the use of a jural assembly (look it up if you dare) to get rid of elected officials who don't do things their way. These delusional people want to create unelected local committees to yank people from office they don't like. The proponent didn't understand why we don't already do that. 

    1. You're not wrong but there are way too many voters that don't care that Republicans want to weaken the rights of the many so they can then do whatever they want to satisfy their ideological pet projects. Attempts to restrict to ban abortion in some states like Montana, Kansas, etc. show that many voters have not problem supporting anti-abortion Republicans (almost all are against abortion anyway) but then look shocked when said politicians they voted for want to push a bunch of stuff they actually don't want.

      Next election cycle comes just so the same voters can again support Republicans despite all the nonsense they passed or tried to pass that is deeply unpopular. Michigan and California come to mind, measures to keep abortion legal and protected performed better than Democrats did in those states in 2022 (not that Democrats fared badly there). Republicans seem to be treated as "boys will be boys" by voters while Democrats seem to be judged harshly because when Dems do similar absurd stunts that go against what most of what voters want, they tend to get punished in the polls. I know gerrymandering plays a role here but I notice that red-leaning states stay solidly red while Democratic-leaning states have Republicans actually make gains (think North Carolina or Ohio for the former and Minnesota or Virginia for the latter) when a party is seen as "over-reaching" or "ineffective".

      As bad as most of the GOP is, those that consistently or at least sometimes but seriously vote for them are not really any better, considering they claim that their own political views tend to be more moderate but see no issue with supporting Republican crackpots who go against their so-called moderate or even liberal views. 

  3. So they won’t take “no-never-no way” for an answer? Republicans are winding up for “Eggs are people” 4? GLWT. The bright side is that it will deprive them of money to make other mischief with our state constitution. 

    1. Absolutely right! If they want to flush their RWNJ $$$ down the toilet with this futile ballot initiatives and Trump's legal fees, so be it.

      Better the $$$ go there than to defending the Republican House incumbents running for re-election in those 17-Biden House districts.

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