This has been an historic election: voter turnout was significant, pre-election polling was shown to be flawed, and conventional wisdom about the expected results flew out the window last night as real numbers started to trickle in.
Details on the results are plastered all over the news, so we won’t go into the box scores here. Instead, here are a few insights and perspectives on just what happened and why.
1) Pro-Life Values Matter.
For Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, late-term abortion became a key issue, with Senator Pat Toomey calling out Katie McGinty’s extreme views during their last debate: “There’s no point at which an abortion is unacceptable to her.”
Poll after poll has shown the vast majority of Americans support some restrictions to abortion, especially later in pregnancy. This is certainly supported, in part, with these election results.
Another point: The Family Policy Alliance, our national ally, created a short video highlighting a few statements made by the presidential candidates regarding late-term abortion. It was posted November 4th and now has over 17 million views.
2) The largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, spent millions in these elections – and lost.
Planned Parenthood spent a ton of money this election. They bought a $1.3 million ad buy against Senator Pat Toomey. It’s reported they spent $30 million in various states, including Pennsylvania, to turn out voters for the presidential contest and various U.S. Senate races. They mailed hundreds of thousands of fliers. They boasted their largest volunteer base for the country being right here in PA.
Their focal point in Pennsylvania was spending against Trump and Toomey. Planned Parenthood, an organization receiving hundreds of millions every year in taxpayers dollars, lost out on both.
3) Pennsylvania’s General Assembly gains more pro-life, pro-religious freedom and pro-privacy members.
We’re still looking through the results but we can safely say that there is a better team in place in both the State Senate and State House of Representatives that will help protect your religious freedom and privacy rights.
One of the biggest issues to come up in the 2015-2016 legislative session was Governor Wolf’s Bathroom Bills. Your voice made a HUGE difference in stopping this privacy-eliminating legislation. And your voice in this election was significant as well.
4) Our online voter’s guide hit record highs.
More people used Pa Family Institute’s online voter’s guide than ever before! To everyone who used and shared this resource as well as our printed guides – thank you. Your support of the PA Family Institute has increased efforts to inform voters throughout the Commonwealth every election for the past two decades.
Your friends, family and colleagues are expressing many emotions right now depending on where they aligned this election. With that in mind, may we leave you with two final thoughts:
First, when people come together and engage issues, change happens. Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, was recently in Harrisburg as part of the nationwide Decision America Tour, urging three action items: pray, vote and engage in the political process.
When the topic of engagement came up, Franklin Graham – just steps away from the Capitol building – brought up his concerns with how God has been taken out of so many places, especially our schools.
The State Supreme Court chamber is housed in the State Capitol building. Behind the justices’ chairs is a mural of the Ten Commandments; to their left, a mural of the Beatitudes. It’s a beautiful part of the Capitol that many school groups touring the building are able to see.
A number of years ago a pamphlet with a picture of the justices had the Ten Commandments blurred in the background (pictured, right). After we helped supporters to engage and take action, the next printed pamphlet had the words crystal clear.
It’s a small example, but it points to why engagement makes a difference. Even when the issues are challenging, may we continue to engage our families, communities and culture in standing for pro-life, pro-religious freedom, pro-family values.
Second, be gracious but courageous. At one of the biggest displays of pro-family involvement this year – the Defend My Privacy rally – Joseph Backholm, who runs our sister organization in Washington State, had this to say to the crowd:
“Your presence here today and your courage is what’s needed more than anything….Be kind. Be gracious. Be compassionate. But be courageous.”
May we all do the same in the coming year.
PA Family Council is your eyes and ears in Harrisburg. Through your support we will continue to provide you with the latest on how we can both advance and protect pro-life, pro-family and pro-religious freedom efforts throughout the Commonwealth.
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