Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Election Highlights

Ballot Measures
Alabama voted to enshrine the right to life for unborn children in the state constitution. Abortion will continue to be legal there under federal law, but the amendment could become relevant when Roe v. Wade is overturned. Also, in some cases, abortion activist judges have used state constitutions to invalidate federally approved abortion limits like waiting periods and informed consent; that avenue is closed off in Alabama.

West Virginia also passed an amendment designed to combat the activist-judge problem: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion." This overturns a state supreme court decision that required taxpayer funds to support abortion of babies conceived to mothers on Medicaid.

Oregon, being Oregon, rejected a measure that would have ended taxpayer funding of abortion.

House of Representatives
Democrats needed to pick up at least 23 seats to take control of the House. As of this writing, they have gained 26, with an additional 23 races too close to call. Sadly, these new Democratic Representatives are all expected to vote in line with abortion industry interests. (A few pro-life Democratic incumbents won re-election, such as Dan Lipinski of Illinois.)

As of this writing, the GOP has gained two Senate seats, for a total of 51. This secures the Republicans' majority in the 100-person body, making it less likely that the GOP will need to use Vice President Pence as a tie-breaking vote. Pro-life political groups prioritized the Senate, knowing that Republican Senators are likely to make life-friendly judicial appointments. Three Senate races are too close to call:
  • Arizona, where Martha McSally (R) leads Kyrsten Simena (D)  
  • Florida, where Rick Scott (R) leads Bill Nelson (D)
  • Montana, where Matt Rosendale (R) leads Jon Tester (D)
Mississippi presents one final opportunity, as no candidate won a majority of the votes cast. The two leading candidates, Cindy Hyde-Smith (R, 41.5%) and Mike Espy (D, 40.6%) will proceed to a run-off.

Democrats gained, and Republicans lost, the governor's mansion in seven states: Illinois (where the incumbent Republican was pro-abortion), Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Alaska (Republican leading), Connecticut (Democrat leading), and Georgia (Republican leading) have not been called.

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