Headline RoundupAugust 10th, 2023

Why Did Ohio's Ballot Measure Fail?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

On Tuesday, Ohio voters rejected a proposal to raise the threshold for state constitution amendments from 50% to 60%. The proposal came ahead of a fall vote to enshrine abortion access in the state constitution. Its defeat is leading voices across the spectrum to reflect on the lingering impact of the Dobbs decision.

Against Trends: A piece in the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) argued the referendum failed in part “because it bet, wrongly, against a trend more than two centuries old.” The writer determines American voters favor more direct democracy, and the proposed referendum would do the opposite. The writer recommends pro-life groups reevaluate messaging, writing, “every time the issue has gone directly to voters, the people have sided with abortion rights.”

“Extra Potholes”: A writer in the Daily Beast (Left bias) argued the referendum failed “for the same reason that a measure offering voters the opportunity to add extra potholes to all the roads might fail.” The failed vote “should be a warning to anti-choice conservatives around the country that a lot of people hate their bad ideas.”

2024 Roadmap: An article in The Hill (Center bias) called the vote a “proxy battle in the war over abortion rights.” The piece quoted Republican and Democratic strategists affirming that Ohio’s results demonstrate that abortion remains a winning issue for Democratic candidates and policies. The article determined campaigning on abortion access in 2024 could help Democrats maintain control of both the Senate and the White House.  

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