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Last week, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed state lawmakers to tighten restrictions on abortion. An Associated Press analysis of the voting results found high turnout among Democratic and independent voters contributed to that result. But even in traditionally conservative Kansas — a state Donald Trump carried by double digits in 2020's presidential election — support for the abortion measure was lower in every single county than support for the former president had been two years ago. In other states, abortion-rights supporters and opponents alike are using the Kansas vote to drive their followers to the polls.
California's last operating nuclear power plant could get a second lease on life. Pacific Gas & Electric decided six years ago to close its twin-domed Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant by 2025. But Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom — who was involved in the agreement to close the reactors — has prompted PG&E to consider seeking a longer lifespan for the plant. Newsom worries about possible power shortages as the state transitions to solar and other renewable sources. But it's not clear if the utility wants to back out of the complex closing deal that involved environmentalists and unions, or if it even could.
Eli Lilly and Co. and the administration of President Joe Biden have condemned Indiana’s new ban on abortions. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement Saturday said Indiana's Republican legislators have “put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors.” Lilly says it's concerned the law will hinder the company's and Indiana’s “ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.” The law lifts the ban in cases of rape or incest and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. It takes effect Sept. 15.
Indiana has become the first state in the nation to pass new legislation restricting access to abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that overturned Roe v. Wade. Indiana lawmakers on Friday approved the near-total abortion ban with some exceptions, including in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb immediately signed the bill. Indiana was among the first Republican-run state legislatures to debate tighter abortion laws after the Supreme Court ruling that removed constitutional protections for the procedure.
Indiana Republican House Speaker Todd Huston, left, and Republican Rep. Wendy McNamara, right, speak with reporters after the Indiana House approved a near-total abortion ban at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. The legislation returns to the Senate to confer on the House changes. (AP Photo/Arleigh Rodgers)
Democrats are celebrating a stunning victory for abortion rights in Republican stronghold Kansas as proof that the issue could turn back a Republican wave this fall. Republicans — and some Democrats — suggest that may not be so easy. But Kansas’ overwhelming vote against a measure that would have allowed Republican state lawmakers to ban abortion gave Democrats nationwide a badly needed dose of optimism. From Arizona to Georgia to Pennsylvania, Democrats have struggled under the weight of President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and deepening concerns about the economy. Biden, speaking at a White House event on abortion, declared: “This fight is not over. And we saw that last night in Kansas."
Georgia Republican Herschel Walker has accepted an invitation in his U.S. Senate race to debate Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. But it’s not one of the three debate invitations Warnock earlier accepted. That leaves it unclear whether the two will clash in person before the November general election. Walker’s campaign says the candidate had accepted Nexstar Media Group's invitation to debate Warnock in Savannah on Oct. 14. Walker has been proclaiming his readiness to debate Warnock for months. But his campaign has expressed doubts over whether formats and moderators would be fair to Walker. Warnock in June accepted invitations for a separate Savannah debate, plus events in Atlanta and Macon.
FILE - Republicans U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker, center, talks with Georgia state Sen. Butch Miller, left, and former state Rep. Terry Rogers as Walker campaigns on July 21, 2022, in Alto, Ga. Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock has committed to three debates with Walker, but Walker has now chosen a separate, fourth debate before the November election. (AP Photo/Bill Barrow, File)
FILE - Senator Raphael Warnock greets the crowd during a rally in Atlanta, on July 23, 2022. Warnock has committed to three debates with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker, but Walker has now chosen a separate, fourth debate before the November election. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, FFile)
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers is facing the anger of former President Donald Trump's supporters after he rejected Trump's pleas to help overturn the 2020 election results and testified before Congress about the efforts. Bowers is running for the state Senate is Tuesday's Republican primary and has an uphill battle for the district representing the eastern Phoenix suburb of Mesa. The state Republican Party censured him following his June testimony before the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on Congress and Trump has endorsed his opponent, former state Sen. David Farnsworth.