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Abortion-rights protesters
Abortion-rights protesters at a rally outside the state capitol in Lansing, Mich., following the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24.Paul Sancya / AP file

Midterm elections roundup: Abortion is on the ballot in Michigan

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that voters will be able to weigh in on whether to amend the state constitution to protect abortion rights.

By and

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday that voters will be able to weigh in on whether to amend the state constitution to protect abortion rights, welcome news for Democrats in the battleground state. 

The ballot initiative could boost turnout and, if recent elections are any indication, that could benefit Democrats. Kansas voters came out in droves in August to oppose a constitutional amendment that would have eliminated the right to an abortion under state law. And Democrats have narrowed the margin or won special House elections since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. 

That could be pivotal as Democrats work to hold onto three statewide seats with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Joceyln Benson, and Attorney General Dana Nessel all facing competitive re-election races. Democrats across the state have put abortion access front-and-center in their campaigns amid a court fight over abortion laws in the state

And it’s likely welcome news to Democrats in Michigan’s multiple competitive House seats — as Democratic Reps. Elissa Slotkin and Dan Kildee look to fend off GOP challengers, and as Democrats eye a pickup opportunity in Michigan’s 3rd District after GOP Rep. Peter Meijer lost his primary to a Trump-backed challenger. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Arizona Senate: Saving Arizona, a super PAC primarily funded by billionaire Peter Thiel that boosted Republican Blake Masters in the primary, is going back on the airwaves with a $1.5 million ad buy and an attack ad targeting Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, Politico reports. But Thiel has apparently not donated additional money to the group, and it’s not clear yet who is funding the new effort. 

Florida Senate: GOP Sen. Marco Rubio placed a $1.5 million ad buy over the next week, per AdImpact as Democratic Rep Val Demings continues to outspend him on the airwaves. 

Georgia Senate: Republican Herschel Walker’s latest ad accuses Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of being racially divisive, but that has also provided Democrats “an opportunity to further highlight some of the more controversial comments [Walker] has made over the years about race,” write NBC News’ Marc Caputo and Henry Gomez.

Ohio Senate: Asked whether President Biden should run for re-election, Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan didn’t give a straight answer, and instead called for “new leadership across the board.” 

Pennsylvania Senate: Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a potential 2024 contender, campaigned with Republican Mehmet Oz on Thursday as he looks to make gains in the suburbs, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

South Carolina Senate: Some Democrats are calling on their Senate nominee, state Rep. Krystle Matthews, to drop out of the race after leaked audio showed her making “disparaging” remarks about white voters, per the AP. 

Maine Governor: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin returned from his trip to Maine after campaigning for former GOP Gov. Paul LePage and denounced LePage’s previous controversial comments, but said LePage “misspoke,” per the Washington Post.

Texas Governor: A new group has booked $6 million on ads, per AdImpact, attacking Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over his response to recent mass shootings in the state and a slew of other issues. It’s not clear who is behind the group, known as Coulda Been Worse, which took its name from Abbott’s comments at a press conference after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde. 

New Hampshire-01: GOP Sen. Ted Cruz traveled to New Hampshire Thursday to campaign for Karoline Leavitt ahead of next week’s GOP primary.