By Dave Andrusko
Last November, after most of the dust had settled, some pro-abortion strategists were honest enough to acknowledge that the future did not look good for their party—the Democrats. Borrowing from a piece that appeared in Slate magazine (decidedly not our friend), we wrote about that under the headline “’It’s the statehouses, stupid.’ Pro-abortion publication acknowledges how well pro-life Republicans did in the states.”
Why do I mention this again today. Simply because even those anti-lifers most determined to bury their heads in the sand can’t miss the import of this headline from yesterday’s New York Times (their house newspaper) which read “Republicans win two Texas mayoral races, including one in McAllen, which is 85 percent Hispanic.”
These surprising setbacks on top of the huge and growing number of pro-life Republican women taking their seats in Congress and the statehouses. So, let me revisit what we wrote last November, which is even more true today than seven months ago.
The title for Mary Harris’ piece, which was “an excerpt of a conversation from Slate’s daily morning news podcast, ‘What Next,’’ is “Democrats Have a Much Bigger Problem Than the Senate or the Electoral College: It’s the statehouses, stupid.
It’s a long post, but let’s start with the conclusion that appears at the very end of the excerpt:
Mary Harris: The Democrats seem to lack the organizational knowhow, the infrastructure to compete with Republicans in these states they see as battlegrounds. Is my perception right here or am I just being cynical?
Ari Berman: I don’t know if that’s totally true when it comes to state legislative races, because Democrats raised more money than Republicans did with state legislative races. They had really high-profile figures like Eric Holder [President Obama’s Attorney General] working on these races. I don’t think it was for lack of effort or for lack of organization. I just think these were really, really difficult places to win seats. And I think Democrats have a red America problem. It’s very, very clear they’re not competing as strongly as they should be in states that are red or haven’t flipped yet from red to purple. And a lot of the seats that needed pickup were in the redder parts of purple states. It was about the more conservative suburban areas, the rural areas? That’s where the Democratic Party really underperformed. Donald Trump ran up huge margins there. That was enough for Republicans to be able to hold control of all of these state legislative chambers.
Democrats spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars on state and congressional races. With rare exceptions, they had unified support from the entire media complex, in addition to Hollywood, academia, and virtually unlimited funding from pro-abortion billionaires . That, and some (such as President Trump) would say dishonest ballot counting in a number of key battleground states.
All this going for pro-abortion Democrats. Granted [as he eventually did] Joe Biden who won by the skin of his teeth, but Democrats also suffered major losses in the House of Representatives; finished with a 50-50 Senate; and suffered losses in many, many legislatures.
Harris and Berman never quite say it, but clearly they believe 2020 was a huge loss—“This year was the best opportunity for Democrats,” Berman says– that will come back to haunt Democrats.
“[T]his year you had Joe Biden on the ticket, you had high Democratic turnout, and they were still unable to flip these state legislative chambers,” a reference to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas where Democrats had hoped to assume control of the state legislature.
How did what took place on November 3rd come to pass?
Berman argues, “Republicans basically held all of their vulnerable chambers and seats” which means “right now it looks like, with a few exceptions, the post-2020 redistricting cycle is going to look very similar to the post-2010 redistricting cycle, when Republicans dominated the process.”Berman adds, “So you just wonder, when are they going to get a better opportunity?”
President Trump will never, ever be given credit for the rallies that help turn out enormous numbers of Republican voters. Pro-lifers will never, ever be given credit for the massive work done by NRLC and state pro-life organizations.
But looking ahead, these victories at the state level that you helped make possible are incredibly important.