Democratic Party scores big wins in key elections

November 8, 2023

Democrats chalked up victories in several key elections on Tuesday with abortion rights being a driving issue for voters. 

In Ohio, a state constitutional amendment to protect access to abortion passed by 56.5% of the voters. Another 43.4% voted against the measure.

Exit polling Tuesday found that 6 out of 10 Ohioans expressed negative feelings about the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v Wade and the constitutional right to abortion in 2022, including 4 in 10 who called themselves angry about the ruling.

Voters in Ohio also cast their ballots Tuesday in favor of legalizing marijuana, 57%-43%. 

In Virginia, where Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) was hoping to flip the state legislature to Republican control in order to get a 15-week abortion ban passed, not only did Democrats hold onto the majority in the state Senate, but Democrats flipped the state House from a Republican to a Democratic majority as well.

A poll taken of Virginians by the Washington Post ahead of the election found that 60% said abortion was “very important” to their vote this year.

In the deep red state of Kentucky, incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear (D), who has expressed disapproval of the state’s current law banning abortions after 15 weeks, not only held onto his seat, he won Tuesday night by a wider margin (5 points) than he had four years ago (0.4 points).

Beshear’s Republican opponent, Daniel Cameron, had taken a hardline stance against access to abortion. 

In Pennsylvania, where the issue of abortion was not specifically on the ballot, Democrat Daniel McCaffrey won a vacant seat on the state Supreme Court, beating Republican candidate Carolyn Carluccio. McCaffrey’s victory gives Democrats a 5-2 edge in the court. 

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

 

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