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4 Big Takeaways From Tuesday’s Primary Elections

A close-up of a sign on a lawn reading "Vote," with a woman in the background

Five states held primary elections yesterday, August 2. Here are the big takeaways from the results out of Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Washington, and Arizona.

Abortion wins in Kansas

Obviously, the biggest news out of Tuesday’s elections was the win for abortion rights in Kansas. Voters in the deep-red state overwhelmingly rejected an attempt to add an amendment to the state constitution, which would have robbed them of their right to abortion access and given it to lawmakers.

This is a huge win for abortion rights in Kansas and for the entirety of the U.S.

Some very bad people lost

Remember Aaron Coleman, the then-teenager who was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2020 despite his disturbing history of bullying, blackmail, and revenge porn? Well, he’s gone!

In Missouri, Eric Greitens thought he could be Senator despite having resigned in disgrace from his job as Governor just a few years ago in the midst of a number of financial/election fraud scandals, as well as credible accusations of sexual assault and blackmail. During his Senate campaign, he’d fully thrown himself on the MAGA altar, even shooting a campaign ad essentially threatening to murder fellow Republicans, and Trump repaid him by giving him an embarrassing non-endorsement the night before the election. Once the frontrunner in this primary race, he came in a distant third.

Also in Missouri, Mark McCloskey, famous for brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters walking past his house, got only 3% of the vote in his own Senate bid.

Some very bad people also won

In Arizona, the Republican primary races were dominated by candidates who went all-in on pushing Trump’s false election fraud claims. Mark Finchem (Secretary of State) and Blake Masters (Senate) both won their party’s nominations by running on MAGA conspiracy theories. Television personality and Cult of Trump devotee Kari Lake is currently ahead in her bid for Governor with 80% of precincts reporting as of this writing, but it’s very close. She is, of course, already laying the groundwork with Trump-like claims of election fraud in case she loses.

In Michigan, Trump’s stronghold on the party also seems to have cost incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer his reelection. Meijer was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump. He narrowly lost his primary to John Gibbs, a Trump-backed election denier.

Voter turnout was high!

Thanks to the importance of the abortion amendment on the ballot in Kansas, that state reportedly had more than double the turnout of a typical primary election. But it’s not just in Kansas. According to the New York Times, Washington state added 600,000 new eligible voters since the 2018 midterms, which was reflected in yesterday’s election.

Voting is not the end of our fight to enact change, it’s the very beginning, and going into the November elections, high turnout is going to be essential. So these primaries were definitely encouraging.

(image: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.