By Dave Andrusko
We’ve written a great deal about the massive pro-life gains in the United States Congress (including, in all likelihood, nine Senate seats), but less about gains in the state legislatures. Here is the opening paragraph of a story by Shaila Dewan that ran in the New York Times Saturday, “G.O.P. Gains by Tapping Democrats’ Base for State Candidates”:
WASHINGTON — As Republicans took control of an unprecedented 69 of 99 statehouse chambers in the midterm elections, they did not rely solely on a bench of older white men. Key races hinged on the strategic recruitment of women and minorities, many of them first-time candidates who are now learning the ropes and joining the pool of prospects for higher office.
Just to be clear, not all Republicans will be pro-life, although, conversely, there are very few pro-life Democrats remaining in state legislatures. But clearly the prospects for passing (and defending current law) are greatly enhanced when state houses are controlled by Republicans.
The story nicely combines personal profiles of female, latino/latina, and African-Americans who won running as Republicans with enough “inside baseball” to appreciate that these victories were not accidents. They are the fruit of years of careful planning and recruitment.
For our purposes today, it is enough to say two things. First, that Dewan could have profiled more candidate of the kind that the headline alludes to—those who traditionally have run as Democrats but won as Republicans, in some cases against overwhelmingly odds.
Second, Dewan was too busy ending her story with the suggestion that not all these winners have the same position on the “social issues” to note that almost every one of them is pro-life.