A group of people cheer and celebrate at an election watch event.

Tuesday’s Elections Were a Huge Win For Democrats And Progressive Values

At a time when the media seems intent on painting Biden as a failure and when polls have not been looking too great for Democrats, Tuesday’s elections across the country were a great reminder that people are still really invested in protecting their rights, and that turning out to vote for Democrats and progressive issues is the way to do that.

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Abortion wins elections!

One of the biggest takeaways from Tuesday was that reproductive rights and abortion access win elections. Conservatives have been preaching for half a century or longer, crying that we need to limit or fully outlaw the right to abortions. “Pro-life” rhetoric has been shoved down our throats by countless politicians and pundits. But since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Americans have been grappling with what a reality without reproductive freedom may look like. And when put to the test via elections, conservative ideologies keep losing.

On Tuesday, Ohio’s Issue 1 overwhelmingly passed. This measure enshrined the right to an abortion in the State’s Constitution. The victory continued a winning streak for those who value freedom and bodily autonomy. Last year, access to abortion won in six out of six ballot measures. However, many thought that Ohio would be very difficult. 

The pro-choice and anti-abortion crowds both poured tons of money into the race in Ohio. A big talking point was that the government should stay out of decisions about their health and their families—something that the majority of Americans agree with, regardless of party affiliation. The GOP loves pushing the idea that Democrats are big government, but they want the government in our uteruses. This hypocrisy is proving to be a galvanizing issue for voters!

Democrats in Kentucky

Another big win occurred in Kentucky. Generally seen as a deep-red state, Kentucky actually has re-elected its Democrat Governor Andy Beshear. He beat Republican candidate Daniel Cameron, who is the Republican Attorney General for the state. Cameron wanted this election to be a referendum on Biden, well, that didn’t work out.

Cameron became nationally known for refusing to indict the killers of Breonna Taylor. He also has wide name recognition that goes back to his father, Steve Beshear, who was a popular governor who expanded Medicaid to many Kentuckians.

The abortion topic was also at play here. Kentucky has a very strict anti-abortion law which outlaws the procedure even in cases of rape and incest. Cameron has been very anti-choice but even he softened his position recently, saying he would sign a bill meeting the low bar of allowing abortion in those two instances. That seems like a testament to the extreme unpopularity of abortion bans.

Cameron also tried to attack Beshear for his support of transgender issues, as well as immigration and crime. This election has really highlighted that these wedge issues Republicans love to obsess over do not help their candidates win. People like Cameron have no policies that will actually help the average person. Republicans have chastised the Biden administration for being a failure regarding the economy—even though it has actually created a ton of new jobs—but they continuously show they have no plans to help the economy. If these culture war issues fail them, they may have to start coming up with actual policies. Oh no!

“Parental rights”

Another thing we were looking out for in Tuesday’s results was school board races. Loudon County was heavily watched after the extremist group Moms for Liberty turned the area into a culture war flashpoint. But they lost big time Tuesday, in Loudon and beyond.

This gives us hope that the rights of marginalized communities in schools are going to be more protected. Virginia also had big wins for minority communities. Voters there elected a record number of women of color to the state assembly and they are all Democrats. We can continue to have diverse representation if we put forward good candidates and invest in them.

Democrats and Progressives should take this as a win. In general, Democrats often seem scared to gloat and we shouldn’t be! Republicans brag and pat themselves on the back even when they lose. We have to acknowledge our wins and go full steam ahead into 2024.

(featured image: Andrew Spear/Getty Images)


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