Last night, the people of Kansas’ 4th Congressional District sent a loud and clear message to the Republican leadership in Congress, Donald Trump, and rank-and file-Republicans across the country. While there will be plenty of hot takes today about what happened and what could have happened, one thing is clear: being pro-choice is not a strike against you, even in Kansas.
This was proven before in polling we did there a few years ago. And it was made crystal clear again last night by James Thompson, a candidate who unapologetically—in deep-red Kansas no less—stood by women by professing his support for reproductive freedom. As he put it during the race, “I trust women to make their own health decisions.”
We hope that Democrats and Republicans alike across the country—especially those leading the national parties in #ThisTown—will hear this important message. It has been reported that many wanted to recruit an anti-choice Democrat for this race. We can say without a shadow of a doubt that such a decision would have been disastrous, because we know nearly 7 in 10 Kansans support legal and accessible abortion.
Democrats clearly have momentum, and it’s not just from the double digit swing we saw in Kansas last night. What is also clear, is that one of the best ways to reduce this excitement from the base—and more importantly, the majority of voters who support reproductive freedom—would be to run candidates who don’t align with them on a fundamental issue like women’s health.