Mid-Term Election 2022: August 2 Primary Elections and Ballot Initiatives [UPDATE-3]

[NB: check the byline, thanks. Updates will appear at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

Though we’re deep into the primaries already, tonight’s a pretty big night as the following states all held primary elections today including ballot initiatives:

Arizona — August 2 (head to bmaz’s post for this state’s results)

Kansas — August 2

Michigan — August 2

Missouri — August 2

Ohio — August 2

Washington — August 2

Counting may not be complete for races but there’s already a doozy of a political wind indicator out of red state Kansas. An initiative to amend the state’s constitution was on the ballot and it hasn’t gone the direction anti-abortion activists wanted.

Here’s an explainer from Ballotpedia:

The Kansas No State Constitutional Right to Abortion and Legislative Power to Regulate Abortion Amendment is on the ballot in Kansas as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on August 2, 2022.

A “yes” vote supported amending the Kansas Constitution to:

  • state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion and
  • state that the legislature has the authority to pass laws regarding abortion.

A “no” vote opposed amending the Kansas Constitution, thereby maintaining the legal precedent established in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt (2019) that the Kansas Bill of Rights provides a right to abortion.

As of 9:16 p.m. ET the results looked like this:

And by 9:26 p.m. ET, Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman was calling it for reproductive rights:

There had been an attempt to ratfuck the vote for this initiative:

Voters were sent text messages without attribution providing the wrong instructions about the initiative. It’s not clear whether this violates any federal law but Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission responded to complaints about this ratfucking attempt with a Twitter thread explaining that under Kansas’s current state law attribution for political advertisements wasn’t required for ballot initiatives though it is required for candidates’ campaign ads.

Sounds like this should be on the next ballot.

~ ~ ~

In my home state, things went about as expected:

– Trump’s endorsed candidate, Tudor Dixon, won the MIGOP primary. She’s not as wretched as a couple other MIGOP candidates but she’s still absolutely awful.

How nice of you to want to force your personal choice on all Michiganders, Dixon.

– MAGA candidate Kevin Gibbs had the lead early over Rep. Peter Meijer. The race has tightened substantially and is too narrow to call at this point.

You’ll recall the DCCC through money behind Gibbs so they could run against a Trumpy candidate in a newly configured district. Meijer, who was one of only 10 GOP reps to vote for Trump’s impeachment, currently holds the seat once held by Justin Amash.

~ ~ ~

Trump’s attempt to split the baby by endorsing “Eric” in the Missouri GOP Senate primary race didn’t go to plan, exactly. Eric won, but not Eric Greitens.

Trump will claim victory through Eric Schmitt anyhow, you can be sure. His narcissism wouldn’t have it any other way.

~ ~ ~

What do you see in the other primary races and ballot initiatives tonight? Let us know in comments.

Let’s stay on topic here because there’s plenty of primary election material to discuss without dragging in other topics.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 12:35 PM ET — 03-AUG-2022 —

DCCC’S money paid off and defeated incumbent Rep. Peter Meijer:

Grrr…sure hope DCCC pulls out the stops and gets behind Scholten because the western part of this district and the DeVos/Van Andel/Prince crowd may not take this lying down even if a Trumpy MAGAt is the GOP candidate.

I’ve experienced supporting a state legislative candidate who was targeted by DeVos money. It can get fucking ugly.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-2 — 1:00 AM ET — 03-AUG-2022 —

Can you not do better than this hack, KSGOP? This is the best you’ve got, a lawyer who needed remedial law classes?

Anyhow, here’s Democratic opponent Chris Mann’s campaign website.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-3 — 9:15 PM ET — 03-AUG-2022 —

Another too-little-discussed bellwether was Missouri’s 1st Congressional District primary race. Incumbent progressive Rep. Cori Bush beat out four other Democrats taking more than 69% of the vote. Her strongest opponent, Steve Roberts, is and remains a Missouri state senator for District 5; he ran to the right of Bush.

The GOP primary in that district was won by Andrew Jones Jr. with 6,927 out of 16,328 total GOP votes. Even Roberts took more votes than the total GOP primary votes.

Clearly MO-01, home to 714,746 citizens, wants a progressive representative.

23 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Next primaries: Tennessee on Thursday August 4. Sadly, neither of TN’s Senators is up for re-election this year.

    After that:
    Connecticut — August 9

    Minnesota — August 9

    Vermont — August 9

    Wisconsin — August 9

    Hawaii — August 13

    Alaska — August 16

    Wyoming — August 16

    Florida — August 23

    Going to be a busy month.

  2. Peterr says:

    The big loser in KS is the Roman Catholic church. They leaned HARD into the “Yes” vote, and got trashed.

    Flying under the radar is the still up-in-the-air vote for Kansas AG, in which Kris Kobach is trying to mount a comeback. He’s got a very slight lead, but lots of precincts where he is expected to lose have yet to report.

    The abortion vote has some interesting implications for the November mid-terms. Rep Sharice Davids (KS-03), the sole Democrat in the US House delegation from Kansas, had her district redrawn such that she lost a chunk of urban voters around KC and added a chunk of rural voters in areas moving toward central Kansas. She has been doing lots of campaigning in these new areas lately . . . and somewhat surprisingly, those new areas voted against the abortion amendment. She has to be happy about that and what it means for her reelection prospects.

    Meanwhile, here in MO, Eric Greitens went down in flames, which was nice to see.

    • Peterr says:

      Also, Josh “The Fist” Hawley came out as a loser in MO tonight as well. He was backing Vicki Hartzler to replace Roy Blunt, and campaigned hard for her until this last week when Eric Schmitt began to pull away. Any night that Josh Hawley comes out on the wrong end of things is a good night in Missouri.

      Schmitt will take on Trudy Busch Valentine in the general election, and it’s hard to say what that race will look like by the time we get to November. Schmitt was tacking hard right in the last two weeks to win (a) Trump’s endorsement and (b) the primary. He got 1.5 of those, but I have a hard time visualizing his general election campaign strategy.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        The Kansas abortion vote. With 98% of the vote reporting, the final tally was
        no = 59% and yes = 41%.

        Per fivethirtyeight.com, “It’s notable that the yeses won by 18 points in a state that former President Donald Trump won by roughly 15 points in 2020.” My note—that’s a 33-point swing

        • Peterr says:

          The big number of the night is 908,745 — that’s the total number of votes cast on the constitutional amendment question.

          That’s a record for a primary election.
          That’s better turnout than any non-presidential year general election.

          In Douglas County (home to the University of Kansas), NO got 81% of the vote. In Wyandotte County (poorer KC burbs) NO got 74%. In Johnson County (richer KC burbs), NO got 68% of the vote. Johnson County alone cast about 243,000 votes, or better than 1 in 4 cast statewide. In the lightly populated western counties, the YES vote won, but NO kept it close. Even in these solidly GOP areas, a non-trivial number of Republicans voted NO. The head of the KS branch of Planned Parenthood talked relentlessly about this proposed amendment putting government between “patients and doctors” — not women and doctors, but patients and doctors. Others picked up on this same language. This tapped into all the “big govt” fears of the GOP, including some of the GOP men, and it seemed to have helped keep the YES margins down out west while NO was rolling up huge numbers in major Dem strongholds in the east.

          Dems have been making inroads in Johnson County over the last several cycles, and these trends ought to scare statewide GOP candidates. Having Kris Kobach on the ballot again for Kansas AG will only stir up the vote in these three big Dem counties. If the Dems can again turn fears of Big Govt against the far-right GOP, November’s general election could be quite something.

          Finally, the “No” forces were not just energized, but they were organized. Of course, they could focus their arguments on a single issue, making the argument that “regardless of which candidates you support, shouldn’t it be obvious that govt should not get between a patient and their doctor?” You can’t do that in candidate races, but the Dems have to harvest this energy, this organization, and the joy of winning to get these folks working in the general election.

        • Rayne says:

          Post worthy, Peterr. I’m elevating this analysis.

          Between a patient and their doctor” needs to be sustained and used to propel Medicare4All. Insurance companies act not only for corporate shareholders but as agents of government when limiting care, thereby getting “between a patient and their doctor.”

          Death panels, even, as the abortion bans in too many states have proved.

    • J R in WV says:

      So they actually allow Roman Catholics in Kansas? I had no idea! /s

      Actually I kind of despise the Roman church for its top down hierarchy, its total domination by right wing men who allow no input whatsoever from the women membership, etc. But I still would vote to allow them to be as nuts as they want to be, as long as they quit with the pederasty, which is to say when hell freezes over.

  3. Peterr says:

    The WaPo is reporting that former KS Rep Tim Huelskamp — famous for pissing off then-speaker John Boehner so much that Boehner kicked him off the House Agriculture committee (which then got him kicked out of office by his voters) — is behind that mass misleading text message scandal.

    Sounds like Ol’ Tim hasn’t changed a bit.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for that, can’t keep up with the background on state-based ratfuckers. This guy Huelskamp should be on a watch list.

    • P J Evans says:

      I read elseweb that it was a lobbying outfit, based in Nevada, that works for Rs, and their account got shut down because of this.

    • Hug h says:

      There really ought to be some sort of Statute (with real “teeth”) prohibiting that nonsense. Years ago a Firearms Initiative in WA State passed, allowing easier access to guns, open carry etc. Exit polling quickly revealed- deceptive Political Advertising and the wording of the Initiative itself duped a large percentage of Voters into voting AGAINST what they actually wanted- LESS easy access to firearms, more “safe storage” and stricter concealed carry requirements etc.

  4. Rayne says:

    It’s after 1:00 am and I need to hit the hay. I’ll post some updates to this in the morning.

    Don’t cross the streams — AZ content in the other post bmaz started, all the other primary stuff here. Thanks!

  5. grennan says:

    Ugh, Kris Kobach — him again. (Remember Trump’s early voter fraud task force?)

    But let’s hope that by November fake vote fraud Kool Ade is much harder to peddle.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      Earlier still, as Kansas Secretary of State (I think that was the office), he tried to have Obama removed from the 2012 ballot on grounds that he was not born on US soil. (I and some friends sent him multiple copies of the birth certificate but got no response.) He’s been into the creepy stuff since before the red hats.

      • KP says:

        Less than a century ago, so many here across the Great Plains and Midwest WERE the progressive voices for America. Nebraska’s US Senator Frank Norris was the “Fighting Liberal!” The huge portrait of John Brown in the KS State Capitol is iconic. And, then as now, nothing has changed > the liberals, the progressives, the *Democrats* then and now, have delivered the goods for the farmers, ranchers, and rural areas (lots of wide open spaces out here … dirt and horizon!!); Republicans, then as now, hmmmmmm … nothing. For decades now, I’ve often said ‘there are more cattle than people here, and the cattle are wiser and have more common sense than most of the people.’ I oft use the old saw, *ya cain’t fix stupid*
        Good people, mostly, though. Their obstinate voting against their own best interests is frustrating. Why vote for the guy that tossed an extra bale on your shoulders, and didn’t offer to help ya tote that bale? And a curse or two for being so slow to get it up in the loft? Makes no sense. Sure, ‘everyone’ reading emptywheel understands how I feel, but sheesh. Wake up, get woke, work together, live together — just care for each other. anyhooooo, that’s my story

  6. Tech Support says:

    Up here in Washington, Jaime Herrera Butler, one of the 10 GOP House members to vote for impeachment, appears to be on track to progress to the General election.


    In early counting, she’s running 2nd behind the leading Democratic candidate. That’s a little bit of a surprise since this is a reliably red district, but that probably represents vote splitting from the MAGA wing and I’d still expect her to be re-elected in November unless there ends up being a big enthusiasm gap.

  7. Tom says:

    With the victory for abortion rights and the implications this has for further right wing attempts to restrict or ban contraception, same-sex marriage, etc., it sounds as if the people of Kansas would agree with the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau that, “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation.”

  8. Just Some Guy says:

    Similar constitutional amendment is on the ballot in Kentucky this November, though I have not seen much evidence of anyone but the ACLU of Kentucky notifying Kentuckians about it. Since we came *this close* to having pro-life loser Chad Meredith confirmed to a federal judgeship, it’d be really nice if national Dems, or even local Dems, tried defeating this amendment. Wishful thinking, I know.

  9. Jenny says:

    Thanks Rayne.
    Majority of voters in Kansas respect women’s reproductive rights. Excellent!
    Perhaps this is previews to coming attractions for the midterms.

  10. kellyg says:

    I really, really hope Cook Political and the DCCC are right about MI-03. But I have a horrible feeling that they don’t understand just how red and MAGA Ottawa county is. Ottawa county was in MI-02 in 2020 so the GOP did not vote for Meijer in that election. The Ottawa county GOP is fully on board with John Gibbs. And clearly there are many in Kent County that think Meijer is a traitor because of his impeachment vote. I still think the better play would have been to force the MAGA idiots in MI-03 to choose between Meijer or not voting. I’m not convinced that John Gibbs is terrible enough to get the “moderate” or “never Trumper” GOP to vote for Scholten. Or not vote at all in that race.

    • Rayne says:

      I have a weird feeling there’s some calculus about race playing a factor, but we’ve seen that with John James running against Gary Peters for U.S. Senate. Race didn’t figure into it the way party did.

      I need to look at more granular data over the last two elections to see if any of this makes sense. With Betsy DeVos’s letter to Trump begging for him to support Tudor Dixon — who was already Trumpy — my gut says DeVos family money is now engaged behind Gibbs and Scholten is going to need every damned cent her campaign can muster to fight the darkness coming for her.

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