You’ve probably seen those annoying political attack ads on television for the past couple of weeks, and you know what that means. Next Tuesday, November 4th midterm elections are being held across the United States. Midterm elections, historically, aren’t very important to a lot of people with voter turnout consistently hovering around only 40% (Gallup).
According to the National Right to Life (NRLC), 49 of the 100 members of Congress voted “yes” on at least one piece of pro-life legislation in 2013-2014. With 36 Senate seats to be decided on November 4th, this election cycle could prove to be very vital to the pro-life movement. 10 races in particular are very important, and at this point could go either way.
In Alaska, Democratic incumbent Mark Begich is being challenged by the Republican Candidate Dan Sullivan. Sullivan is pro-life and is endorsed by National Right to Life (NRLC). Most polls show Sullivan with a slight lead on Begich.
In Arkansas, Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor faces off against Republican challenger Tom Cotton. This race is interesting because both politicians somewhat are pro-life. Mark Pryor votes “yes” for prolife issues about 50% of the time (NRLC), but supports both stem cell research and abortions in cases of rape, incest and maternal health (Congressional 2002 National Political Awareness Test). Candidate Tom Cotton opposes all pro-choice agenda including stem cell research, family planning and abortion (cottonforcongress.com). All of the polls show Cotton with at least a 2 point lead on Pryor heading into the last week of campaigning.
In Colorado, there is stark contrast between the views of Democratic incumbent Mark Udall and Republican challenger Cory Gardner. Mark Udall has campaigned excessively on his pro-choice agenda, while Gardner maintains a strong pro-life stance. Udall is rated 0% pro-life by the National Right to Life. The polls again favor the pro-life candidate with nearly every major poll showing Gardner with the lead.
In Georgia, an open Senate seat has sparked a tight, neck-in-neck race between Michelle Nunn (D) and David Perdue (R). Nunn has been quoted saying she believes in the opportunity for “safe, legal and rare” abortions, but hasn’t used this issue as a main campaign stance (Fox News). Perdue, on the other hand, believes life begins at conception and is strong in his pro-life stance (perduesenate.com). The major polls are split, some showing Nunn with the lead and some with Perdue in the lead. This election will be one to watch because this could crucial for a pro-life vote in the Senate.
In Kansas, maybe the most interesting race is at hand. Kansas is the only state where an Independent, Greg Orman, will have a large percentage of the votes. Unfortunately, he is pro-choice and very adamant to his beliefs. His counterpart, Pat Roberts, the Republican incumbent, has a 100% pro-life rating with NRLC. This race is very very tight, but the polls show Orman with the advantage among voters.
The last deciding race in this election that we will look at is in North Carolina. Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, who voted against every single pro-life bill in the Senate last year, is up against Thom Tillis, the Republican challenger. Tillis is pro-life and believes strongly that life begins at conception. The bad news is, nearly all poll data shows Tillis is down in the race by at least one point. So far, polls aren’t entirely accurate and the one point lead is within the margin of error of the aforementioned polls.
Poll data isn’t always right, but with what it looks like now, up to 7 Senate seats could be won by pro-life candidates. This will ensure that there is a “Pro-Life Majority” in both Houses of Congress. If this does happen, and pro-life candidates rule over both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it could be the breakthrough the pro-life movement needs to pass legislation on the national level. So please Pro Life Youth, no matter where you live, get out and vote next Tuesday, November 4th, because it is a super important election cycle and could impact the pro-life movement for years to come!