News·4 min read

Daily Skimm Weekend: The Kansas Upset, Primaries, and Farmers' Markets

A room full of people reacts to the Kansas election results
Getty Images | Design: theSkimm
Aug 6, 2022

A Post-Roe Win

We’re Not (Only) in Kansas Anymore: Earlier this week, Kansans overwhelmingly voted to keep the right to abortion in the state’s constitution. In doing so, it may have upended the political playbook on ballot measures.

The Story

This week, a “sleepy August primary” delivered the first electoral win for abortion rights post-Roe. Instead of the tight vote that some predicted, it was a landslide — even with misinformation campaigns and confusing ballot language. More than 900,000 people showed up, marking the largest primary turnout in the state’s 161-year history. And Kansans didn’t vote predictably: In a state where only 25% of registered voters are Democrats, nearly 60% cast a ballot in favor of abortion rights. An indication that voters, when given the chance to weigh in on abortion directly, may be likely to defend it.

So why isn’t this happening in more states?

Stay tuned. Until now, ballot measures were reportedly used mostly by anti-abortion groups and politicians, as a tactic to restrict access at the state level. In Kansas, the state’s GOP lawmakers put abortion on the ballot — but badly miscalculated the way voters would respond. Now, the other side could adopt the same play. Think: Abortion rights advocates may use Kansas as a roadmap and try to introduce more ballot measures where they can. In 26 states, only lawmakers can introduce them. But in the rest of the country, citizens are allowed to collect signatures to bring these measures to a vote — though, there are often strict deadlines and certification processes.

theSkimm

Five more states are likely to vote directly on abortion this year. But even if you aren’t voting in one of those states, abortion is on the ballot almost everywhere — with candidates both for and against abortion rights. So make your voice heard.

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Downtime

Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.

National Farmers Market Week starts tomorrow — and there’s no better way to celebrate than by making a grocery list, grabbing a reusable tote bag, and heading to the nearest one. Because, whether you live in the city or country, there are thousands of vendors nationwide. For a successful shopping trip, consider these tips…  

  • For the most flavorful and highest quality produce: Go early in the morning to get first pick, and focus on fruits and veggies currently in season. That shouldn’t be too hard, since summer produce is at its peak — tomatoes, stone fruits, and squash are all sure bets this time of year. To choose the best, pay attention to color: The deeper the shade, the more likely the fruit or veggie is ripe. And avoid anything that’s wilting or wrinkling. If you’re on the fence, ask the vendor for help.

  • These markets are the perfect opportunity to try out fruits and veggies that aren’t always available at a typical grocery store. Think: zucchini blossoms or romanesco, plus other fun kinds of produce. Don’t hesitate to pick up a few, then find a recipe to match once you’re home.

  • Many artisans, florists, and craftspeople also set up shop at local markets. So you might want to take a lap around the whole market first, then double back to make your purchases. And don’t forget to bring cash

Once you’re home, make sure to store your produce properly. So it can stay fresh — extending the joy of your weekend excursion for as long as possible.

Eyes On: The 2022 Midterms

The midterm elections have a big impact on the policies that affect our day-to-day lives. So we’re here to help you Skimm Your Ballot. And Skimm what’s going on next week…

State(s) of Play: On Tuesday, August 9, there are primary elections in Connecticut (Senate, House, Governor), Minnesota (House, Governor), Vermont (Senate, House, Governor), and Wisconsin (Senate, House, Governor). And on Saturday, August 13, there are primary elections in Hawaii (Senate, House, Governor).

The Talkers:

  • In Vermont, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) is retiring after nearly 50 years in office. While a small field of Republicans are trying to replace him, the seat is likely to go to Rep. Peter Welch (D), who’s currently the state’s only House member. And with four women vying to fill Welch’s seat, Vermont is poised to make history by being the last state to send a woman to Congress.

  • In Wisconsin, Ron Johnson is widely seen as one of the most vulnerable GOP senators up for re-election. So Dems are eager to put up a good challenger. It’ll likely be Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, after his three top rivals dropped out. And given that incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) won by just 30,000 votes in 2018, all eyes will be on the GOP nominee for governor: either Pence-endorsed Rebecca Kleefisch or Trump-endorsed Tim Michels. 

PS: The results of these elections are up to the voters. Click here to learn more about how to make your vote count.

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