Thunderclap ballot box victory on abortion rights in Kansas gives Democrats a potent midterm issu📷

The wording of the question was convoluted, but the answer was crystal clear: No. Voters in Kansas on Tuesday, in dramatic numbers and by an overwhelming margin, rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed lawmakers to ban abortion in the state.📷

As Republican-controlled state legislatures around the country race to outlaw the procedure in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. 📷

Wade, traditionally conservative Kansas, given the chance to directly respond at the ballot box, denied their own elected leaders' the chance to revoke a right that has broad support across swaths of independent polling.📷

The rejection of the measure highlighted the increasingly stark divide between the activities of Republican state lawmakers, often in legislatures gerrymandered to effectively guarantee GOP control, and the political and policy desires of American voters.📷

In more immediate terms, the ballot measure's defeat -- on a day of extraordinary turnout -- also provides a clear indication that the desire to defend abortion rights could be a potent issue for Democrats in the coming midterm elections.📷

The polling, from a variety of sources, is unambiguous and consistent. Across party lines, abortion rights are popular and the Supreme Court's ruling is not. The most recent CNN poll found that 63% of Americans disapproved -- 51% "strongly" -- of the court's decision.📷

The Kaiser Family Foundation came to a similar conclusion, with 61% of respondents to their survey saying they wanted their state to guarantee access to abortion. Only 25% wanted them to restrict it.📷

The backlash, and its translation to concrete political terms, could potentially influence elections in a handful of states this fall -- including in liberal states like California and Vermont, where the big ticket results are close to a formality but the energy of Democrats could tip races down the ballot. 📷

The more dramatic downstream effects could be felt in swing states like Michigan -- which is embroiled in a court battle over whether a ban from 1931 should be reinstated -- and Colorado, where measures addressing abortion are likely to appear on the same general election ballot as key contests for governor and US House seats. 📷