July 29, 2022
Written by Meaghan Walsh
On Tuesday, Kansans will be the first in the nation to vote on abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24th. The decision sent the question of abortion access back to the states. In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the right to an abortion in the state. Now, the Value Them Both Amendment seeks to remove the right to an abortion from the Kansas state constitution. With $12M spent so far surrounding the issue on Kansas airwaves, this is sure to be a much-anticipated decision for both Republicans and Democrats across the country. A “yes” vote supports amending the Constitution, therefore potentially removing abortion protection. A “no” vote supports continued abortion access in Kansas.
Spending for this issue began in April and increased drastically following the SCOTUS decision leak on May 3rd. The Amendment vote was scheduled before the leak, but took on new significance following the leak and subsequent ruling. Spending surrounding the issue peaked during the month of July.
Pro-Amendment and Anti-Amendment groups are neck and neck in this race, with Republican groups spending $6.4M to support the amendment, and Democrats spending $6M to oppose the issue. The two highest spending advertisers are the Democratic group Kansas for Constitution Freedom with $6.02M spent and the Republican Value Them Both PAC with $4.42M in spending.
In their ads, Kansans for Constitutional Freedom expresses their belief that the amendment is a case of government overreach that will put popular abortion exceptions at risk--such as the health of the mother. Meanwhile, many Value Them Both ads highlight what they see as Democratic scare tactics from the other side, suggesting the amendment will only codify common sense limits on abortion.
While Kansas for Constitutional Freedom is the highest spender so far at $6.02M, there are more Republican issue groups spending on this issue. Overall, we have tracked 7 different Republican organizations including Kansas for Life at $779K and the Restoration Action PAC at $402K.
Spending increases by the day for this issue as the amendment vote looms closer. Since it marks the first abortion-related vote following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, all eyes will be on Kansas. As such, AdImpact will continue to monitor spending for this issue in anticipation of the amendment vote and Kansas primary spending leading up to August 2nd.