Papists, I’m proud of us.
America now once again has a pro-life majority in the House of Representatives. Catholyc Nancy Pelosi, after a lame duck session, will no longer be Speaker of the House. Across the nation, pro-life, pro-marriage conservative candidates pulled off impressive victories. All told, Republicans picked up 60 seats in the House of Representatives, and 6 in the Senate. Many races have yet to be finalized.
CatholicVote President Brian Burch and I had a chance to watch some of the election returns together last night here in DC, while co-founder Josh Mercer held down the online CatholicVote digital fort with constant twitter, facebook and blog updates (and looking at all the posts published and in the queue – he’s still at it!).
Here’s my highlights from last night’s results.
CatholicVote-supported Robert Hurt defeated Catholycs in Alliance for the Common Good founder Tom Perriello. CatholicVote ran radio ads in this district and successfully overcame the coordinated efforts of the Catholyc left to keep him in office. This means we successfully destroyed the “Catholyc firewall” in VA-5 as I had hoped.
Kelly Ayotte won her Senate race in New Hampshire, with the tireless help of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. We once again have a pro-life woman in the Senate!
CatholicVote-endorsed candidates Frank Guinta, Mick Mulvaney, Bobby Schilling, Jeff Fortenberry, Sean Duffy all won their races! CatholicVote-endorsees to win also include Dan Benishek (who won Bart Stupak’s old seat in MI-1) and Democrat Dan Lipinski (the one Catholic Democrat who did not sell out for Obamacare). The only CatholicVote-endorsed candidates not to win in the House were George Phillips (a long shot in NY-22) and Keith Fimian (by the narrowest of margins, he currently stands 600 votes shy of a victory, and may yet claim victory when all the absentee ballots are counted).
7 out of 9 is a very strong showing for CatholicVote’s first endorsement batch! Congratulations to all the fine candidates who will soon be legislating in Washington.
Supposedly pro-life Democrats who supported Obamacare and flawed Catholic Democrats suffered big defeats last night. In addition to Tom Perriello, Kathy Dahlkemper, Paul Kanjorski and Chris Carney (who were both the subject of CatholicVote ads in their district), Steve Dreihaus (who tried to silence the Susan B. Anthony List because of their political billboards) and nine other “Stupak Democrats” who sold out and supported Obamacare were defeated last night. Anti-life votes have bad consequences.
[View SBA's full election pro-life scorecard here.]
(Honorable mention: Pro-Life Democrat Joe Manchin defeated Pro-Life Republican John Raese in West Virginia’s Senate race. I welcome the election of any pro-life Senator and hope that Manchin stands true to his pro-life convictions once in Washington).
Now for some disappointments: my three favorite House candidates all lost their bids. Keith Rothfus narrowly missed defeating incumbent Jason Altmire by a mere 5,000 votes out of 250,000 cast (Rothfus will be back next cycle I’m sure). Michiganders in the 15th District failed to elect challenger Rob Steele and instead sent John Dingle back for his 29th term (talk about more of the same). Finally, in Virginia’s 11th District, Keith Fimian trails Incumbent Gerry Connolly by less than one percentage point.
More disappointing still, Barbara Boxer defeated Carly Fiorina for another 6-year term in the Senate. We still have a long road to travel before California becomes a state capable of sending a conservative Senate candidate to Washington. Until then, we’re stuck with six more years of Boxer’s harmful agenda.
When it comes to tracking the Catholic vote, Josh points out this CNN exit poll claiming the GOP won 53% of it this year. In 2008, Republicans trailed the Democrats by ten points, so this translates to an 18% swing in favor of the GOP, focused in the Midwest. More thoughts on this later.
Bottom line: the candidates elected last night were more pro-life, pro-marriage, conservative, and better reflect Catholic values than the Congress we currently have, so we can be rightfully proud of all the progress we made in this critical election cycle.
Now, with unflinching resolve, we prepare for the work of holding this new pro-life majority in the House accountable to the promises they have made, while also beginning to look forward to the next set of elections where we can further multiply the number of elected officials in Washington who will best serve the common good as revealed by the Church. We have only just begun to become the Catholic Vote.