Mixed results in the 2018 midterms leave questions on partisan strategy over abortion.
Some pro-life Democrats insisted that the only way their party would bring a “blue wave” in the midterms was if it wooed disenchanted Republican voters—including evangelicals—with candidates who took more moderate positions on abortion.
If 2018 was a test of this theory, as reported by Politico, the results are too few and too mixed to assess whether they were right. Barely any pro-life Democratic candidates emerged in this year’s elections; and in almost every case, they struggled.
So the question remains over the future of pro-lifers in the typically pro-choice party. Will Democrats strategically expand to become a “big tent” on the issue of abortion, or will they double down on a commitment to abortion rights?
The issue is particularly apt for evangelicals, who have long considered abortion a political priority. Recent analysis of the 2016 presidential election indicated that a politician’s stance on abortion matters more than party for Americans with evangelical beliefs; three-quarters of pro-life evangelicals said they’d be willing to “vote for a candidate who was truly pro-life, regardless of political party.”
While Republicans easily offer voters a more consistent pro-life position and lobby to tighten restrictions on abortion access, Democrats who fall outside the typical pro-choice default of their party tend to brand themselves as “pro-life for the whole life,” bringing in positions against capital punishment and for poverty relief as well—issues that can appeal to some Christian voters.
Michael Wear, who conducted faith outreach for the Obama White House and serves as a Democrats for Life board member, suggested that fellow believers …
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