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Tipsheet

Whitmer Secures Second Term as Michigan Governor

AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defeated GOP opponent Tudor Dixon in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election. 

While economic/inflation issues were among voters’ top concerns in Michigan, unique among this race is that abortion remained a key issue as well. That’s because voters also weighed in on Proposal 3, which passed, enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution.

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Dixon, for her part, opposed abortion in all instances except to save the life of the mother. She also said Prop 3 would be “the most radical abortion law in the entire country.”

Some supporters of the proposal, including Whitmer, have said that it simply restores protections that were previously available under Roe vs. Wade. But Proposal 3 would explicitly protect more rights in the state than before, making the state a leader in reproductive rights.

“The reality is Roe was the floor, it was never the ceiling,” said Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, the executive director of the liberal Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. “What is really important about Michigan is it’s looking much more expansively [at] what it means to have reproductive health and rights.”

Opponents have argued the proposal is confusing, overly broad and could lead to unintended consequences with parental consent laws and the Legislature’s ability to regulate abortion. Antiabortion groups have made similar arguments against California’s Proposition 1. (LA Times)

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 Indeed, even former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who supports abortion, argued Prop 3 goes way too far.

Michigan Democrats banked on the ballot initiative bringing in high voter turnout numbers that would help in all the statewide races.

Still, Dixon put up quite a fight, making inflation and education issues (particularly pandemic learning loss thanks to Whitmer's lockdown) a key focus of her campaign. 


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