Democrats take heart in US as Ohio votes to make abortion rights legal
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: Democrats and abortion rights advocates record electoral victories in the US in an early signal that reproductive rights remain a potent issue ahead of the 2024 presidential race.
In Ohio, a state that voted for Republican Donald Trump by 8 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election, voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights, Edison Research projected.
The outcome extended an unbeaten streak for abortion access advocates since the US Supreme Court's decision last year to overturn its 1972 Roe v Wade ruling and eliminate a nationwide right to end pregnancies.
In Virginia, Democrats won control of both legislative chambers, according to media reports.
The result was a rebuke for Republican governor Glenn Youngkin, who campaigned hard for Republican candidates and sought to unify them around his proposal to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In Kentucky, Democratic governor Andy Beshear won a second four-year term, Edison projected, defying the deep-red leanings of a state that voted for Mr Trump by more than 25 percentage points in 2020.
The contests were among several across the US offering critical clues about where the electorate stands less than 10 weeks before the Iowa presidential nominating contest kicks off the 2024 presidential campaign in earnest.
The results could help assuage concerns among some national Democrats who are worried about President Joe Biden's unpopularity with voters.
In a statement, Mr Biden praised the Ohio result, saying: “Americans once again voted to protect their fundamental freedoms – and democracy won.”
Mr Beshear defeated Kentucky attorney-general Daniel Cameron, who would have been the state's first black chief executive.
Despite his party affiliation, Mr Beshear has maintained high approval ratings in Kentucky, buoyed by his leadership through the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters. He also ran on protecting abortion rights, though he is powerless to overturn the state’s near-total ban.