by Frank Cannon
This article was originally posted at The Stream.
Dems are chortling with glee about the election on Tuesday night: They snatched another victory in deep red territory. Trump won Pennsylvania 18th congressional district by 20 points. On Tuesday, the Democrat Conor Lamb eked out a win over GOP’s Rick Saccone.
Dems are smacking their lips: They see a Democratic wave in November, and they may be right.
But Democrats beware: your short-term special election victories are leading you into a huge political trap.
This week’s win follows the surprise victory of Democrat Doug Jones over Judge Roy Moore in deep-red Alabama.
In both elections, the Democrats won by doing two things: First, getting a huge turnout from their Trump-hating base. Second, running moderate Democrats. They think this is a roadmap to victory.
Here’s the trap: The Democratic candidates were moderate on all issues except abortion.
Just last year Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, promised no ban on pro-life Dems. “There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,” he said, adding, “You need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district.”
Heads are spinning at the 360-degree turnaround.
The Democrats ran pro-abortion extremists in special elections in Trump territory. And won. They think they can keep doing this.
This is a delusion, thank God. It will lead the Democrats to stunning defeats shortly down the road.
Sixty-three percent of Americans in a recent Marist poll say they support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. This includes 56 percent of Democrats.
Even Doug Jones and Conor Lamb are going to have a hard time holding onto their seats in a general election.
Abortion extremism spells deep trouble for Dems in 2018. Consider the polling in six major 2018 Senate battleground states: Ohio, Montana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida and North Dakota. On average in the states, 62 percent of voters support late-term abortion bans. In a majority or plurality of cases in these states, voters say are less likely to support a Senator who refuses to ban these abortion.
Yet the Dems drive for pro-abortion purity shows no signs of slowing. Watch next week’s Illinois primary. Rep. Dan Lipinski, practically the last moderate pro-life Democrat, a stiff challenge from a pro-abortion purist Marie Newman. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s job is to re-elect incumbents. Yet several members of the DCCC took the unprecedented step of endorsing his challenger.
The writing on the wall is clear. So are its negative political consequences for Democrats.
Republicans should make them pay for this now.
To Democrats I say: Keep swallowing that red pill, beltway boys.
To the GOP I say: get smarter about the political power of the life issue.
To save the Senate and House, the Republicans should do what they almost never do: use the late-term abortion issue against Democrats in marginal districts. To move 2 or 3 percent of Democratic voters into the GOP column would spell victory in a tight race. But soft Democrats never hear that the Dem candidate supports late-term abortions. Unless campaigns make it happen.
The Dems have walked in a trap. Republicans can spring it.
Candidates with guts and consultants with smarts will do two things at once: save babies and win elections.
Photo credit: Victoria Pickering via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0