Truths and consequences await Kansas abortion-rights vote: The Note

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The TAKE with Rick Klein

Amid a flurry of primary-day storylines involving election denial and the former and current president, a red-state setting provides the backdrop for one of the most consequential votes of the year.

Voters in Kansas on Tuesday will decide whether to eliminate a state constitutional right to abortion — freeing lawmakers there to ban or severely restrict abortion access. It marks the first time in nearly half a century that abortion rights will be put to a popular vote — and the first statewide vote on the subject since Roe v. Wade was overturned, as ABC News' Devin Dwyer reports.

The vote has potential consequences for millions of women in Kansas and in nearby states that have already banned abortion procedures. Even that doesn't fully describe what the vote might mean — both because it won't be the last time abortion is on the ballot and because of predictions from both sides about what that will mean.

The Supreme Court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization didn't come close to settling abortion policy or the politics around it. It shifted the action to the states, where both those who claim "pro-life" and "pro-choice" labels cast it as a vote-motivating tool about fundamental rights.

The vote on the amendment has brought big money and bigger organizing attention to a mid-summer race in the middle of the country. The fact that it's happening on a primary day where unaffiliated voters normally can't vote — in a state with a Democratic governor but 350,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats — adds to the unpredictability.

One bottom line stands for both sides: If abortion is a vote-moving issue, there won't be a better chance for a long while to show that votes are indeed moving.

Both sides in the nation’s abortion debate say a Kansas vote on whether to amend the state constitution over abortion will be a bellwether for the right to choose in post-Roe America.ABC News

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

Another high-stakes primary day is putting to the test the strength of endorsements by former President Donald Trump — and creating a head-to-head matchup between Trump's picks and those of former Vice President Mike Pence.

In Arizona, GOP candidates who espouse 2020 election lies are on the ballot for both state and federal offices. The former commander-in-chief has endorsed a host of hopefuls who have suggested they won't concede if they lose, including Senate candidate Blake Masters, gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, who is running for secretary of state.

In the race for governor, Pence and Republican incumbent Doug Ducey are putting their political might behind Karrin Taylor Robson opposite the Trump-endorsed Lake. And though she has raised concerns about "election integrity," Robson hasn't gone as far as Lake.

The dynamic further illustrates the fracturing within the GOP that has played out in other gubernatorial primaries, with party leaders repeatedly on one side and Trump on the other. Earlier this year in Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts and other establishment figures supported businessman Jim Pillen — who came out on top over Trump's pick, Charles Herbster, who had been accused of sexual assault by eight women. (Herbster said it was a "smear campaign.")

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also won his primary, with the help of Pence and others, despite the campaign Trump led against him.

In Arizona, where Trump narrowly lost in 2020, there have been sustained efforts to audit the outcome of the last presidential election. Tuesday's GOP primaries will provide an indication of the direction of the party in the state.

Former President Donald Trump hugs Kari Lake, candidate for Arizona governor, during a Save America rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz., July 22, 2022.Antranik Tavitian/The Republic via USA Today Network

The TIP with Hannah Demissie

It looks like the Missouri GOP Senate primary is becoming a battle of the Erics.

On Monday evening, former President Trump handed out his endorsement in the race to "ERIC" — not specifying whether he was referring to state Attorney General Eric Schmitt or former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

In a statement, Trump said that he trusted Missouri voters "to make up their own minds."

Following the announcement, Greitens and Schmitt both released statements claiming the endorsement as their own, saying it was an honor to have Trump's support.

Trump, on Monday morning, had teased a recommendation in the race on his social media platform Truth Social. But observers didn't expect this.

Leading up to Tuesday's primary, Greitens and Schmitt, alongside Rep. Vicky Hartzler, are seen as the three top candidates in the GOP primary.

Many see the blanket endorsement from the former president as a way to ensure that no matter which "Eric" wins, Trump doesn't lose.

Gov. Eric Greitens delivers the keynote address at the St. Louis Area Police Chiefs Association 27th Annual Police Officer Memorial Prayer Breakfast in St. Louis, Mo.,April 25, 2018.St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Getty Images, FILE

NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight

13. That's the number of key races we're watching in Kansas, Michigan and Washington on Tuesday. (Remember that on Monday, we already ran down the 12 primaries we're keeping an eye on in Arizona and Missouri.) And as FiveThirtyEight's Geoffrey Skelley and Nathaniel Rakich write, one big theme in Tuesday's races is whether three of the House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in 2021 will be able to survive their primary challenges. Also important to watch will be how Kansans vote on the so-called "Value Them Both" amendment, a ballot measure that, if passed, would specify that the Kansas Constitution does not protect abortion rights. Be sure to join us Tuesday as we live-blog all this and more at FiveThirtyEight!

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. "Start Here" begins Tuesday morning with a look at the U.S. operation that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda. ABC's Martha Raddatz leads us off. Then, ABC's Devin Dwyer previews Kansas' primary vote on abortion rights. And wrestling journalist Abraham Riesman breaks down the significance of Vince McMahon's WWE exit. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • Polls for primary elections open in Michigan at 7 a.m. ET, in Missouri at 7 a.m. ET, in Kansas at 7 a.m. ET and in Arizona at 8 a.m. ET.
  • Polls for primary elections close in Michigan by 9 p.m. ET, in Missouri at 8 p.m. ET, in Kansas at 8 p.m. ET, in Arizona at 10 p.m. ET and in Washington voters must return their ballots to an official drop box by 11 p.m. ET.

Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back Wednesday for the latest.

Sourse: abcnews.go.com

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