Pro-Life Candidates See Mixed Results in New Polls, Congress in Play

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Candidates See Mixed Results in New Polls, Congress in Play Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 20
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — A survey of this week’s election polls finds mixed results for pro-life candidates and election day will likely be about minimizing losses. However, the polling results show that it is possible for pro-life lawmakers to retain control of the Senate — in what would be an important victory in a very tenuous political climate.

Pro-life advocates are concerned about keeping control of Congress and preventing abortion advocates from taking over. Should pro-abortion lawmakers run Congress after November, pro-life legislation will likely not be taken up and certain votes on using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions will be in jeopardy.

There is an additional concern that pro-life judicial nominees could be in trouble if abortion advocates run the Senate and President Bush’s veto of tax funding for embryonic stem cell research will be less likely to be upheld.

While control of the House is up in the air, it appears pro-life advocates have a better shot at keeping the Senate if a handful of races stay on track.

Looking at top Senate races, the Montana contest between pro-life Sen. Conrad Burns and pro-abortion Sen. Jon Tester has some variant polling data. A Rasmussen Reports poll out Friday shows Tester ahead 49-46 percent while a Thursday Montana State University poll shows Tester ahead 46-35 percent.

In Missouri, pro-life Sen. Jim Talent clings to a 43-42 percent lead over pro-abortion State Auditor Claire McCaskill in a race that pro-life advocates view as a must win in order to hold onto the Senate.

Virginia Sen. George Allen, who is pro-life, leads pro-abortion former Navy Secretary Secretary Jim Webb 47-44 percent in another must-win race to have any chance of keeping the Senate in pro-life hands.

Tennessee polls continue to show a close race between Bob Corker, who has the backing of some pro-life groups, and pro-abortion Rep. Harold Ford.

Maryland polls are also showing different numbers as a new WMAR-TV/SurveyUSA poll has pro-life Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele and pro-abortion Rep. Ben Cardin tied at 46 percent but a Rasmussen Reports survey has Cardin ahead 53-44.

In Nevada, pro-life Sen. John Ensign appears likely to hold on to his seat as he is ahead of businessman Jack Carter by a 52-43 percent margin.

Arizona Sen. John Kyl, who is pro-life, is solidifying his lead there as a new Rasmussen Reports poll has him ahead of pro-abortion former State Democratic Chair Jim Pederson 51-42 percent. Also, a Northern Arizona University survey has Kyl up 49-33 percent.

Some political observers are writing off the chances of pro-life Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine, who is losing to pro-abortion Rep. Sherrod Brown by a 49-35 percent margin in a New York Times/CBS News poll. Quinnipiac University has Brown ahead 53-41 while University of Cincinnati has a closer 52-45 percent lead for Brown.

Pennsylvania is also looked at by some as a lost cause for pro-life stalwart Rick Santorum, who is behind State Treasurer Bob Casey by a 55-42 percent margin in a Rasmussen Reports poll.

In other Senate races, pro-abortion Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida appears to be holding on to his seat as he still has a large 57-31 percent lead over pro-life Rep. Katherine Harris. Pro-abortion Sen. Maria Cantwell will likely defeat insurance executive Mike McGavick, as she leads 53-38 percent.

In Michigan, pro-abortion Sen. Debbie Stabenow still leads pro-life Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard by a healthy 48-35 percent margin.

Minnesota is looking less likely as a pro-life pickup as pro-life Congressman Mark Kennedy continues to trail pro-abortion Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar by a 55-34 percent margin.

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who backs abortion, will easily defeat Yonkers Mayor John Spencer. Olympia Snowe, a pro-abortion Maine Republican will easily win as will pro-life Sen. Craig Thomas of Wyoming.

Looking at top races for governor across the nation, Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver, who backs abortion, leads pro-life Congressman Jim Nussle 49-44 percent, in what would be a helpful pro-life gain.

In Nevada, pro-life Rep. Jim Gibbons is ahead of State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus 51-43 percent.

There is still a chance in Michigan as pro-abortion Governor Jennifer Granholm leads pro-life advocate Dick DeVos by a 49-41 percent margin while Minnesota pro-life Governor Tim Pawlenty is now behind pro-abortion Attorney General Mike Hatch 46-37 percent.

Unfortunately, some races are getting away from pro-life candidates.

Wisconsin is still in the hands of pro-abortion Governor Jim Doyle who leads pro-life Rep. Mark Green by a 51-38 percent margin and pro-abortion Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has a commanding 58-25 percent lead over pro-life advocate Len Munsil.

In Ohio, pro-life Secretary of State Ken Blackwell appears to have lost any chance of winning as he is now behind pro-abortion Ted Strickland 59-22 percent and, in Pennsylvania, Gov. Ed Rendell is ahead of pro-life former pro football player Lynn Swann 57-40.

And in Arkansas, pro-life former Congressman Asa Hutchinson appears less likely to win and is now behind pro-abortion Attorney General Mike Beebe 45-31 percent in one poll and 50-40 in another.

There is some good news in some polls for pro-life advocates.

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, who pro-life groups say is the best candidate, is ahead of pro-abortion Rep. Jim Davis by a 50-39 percent margin, though another poll has a closer 46-41 percent margin.

Current pro-life governors are also doing well as pro-life South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford leads State Senator Tommy Moore 56-41 percent.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, who is pro-life, still leads pro-abortion Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley 57-36 and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who is pro-life, is ahead of Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor 50-36 percent.

In other contests, Maine Governor John Baldacci leads State Senator Chandler Woodcock 46-38, and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley is ahead of Governor Bob Ehrlich 49-43 percent. Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois leads pro-abortion State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka 44-36

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Massachusetts candidate Deval Patrick, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, all pro-abortion, appear to be cruising to victory.

Control of the House of Representatives is anyone’s guess and the latest analysis from most political observers is that there are as many as 15-20 races that are too close to call.

Some pro-life candidates or lawmakers who appear to be in good shape according to the most recent polls include Doug Lamborn and Marilyn Musgrave in Colorado, Gus Bilirakis in Florida, and Tim Walberg in Michigan.

Meanwhile, these pro-life (or pro-life leaning) candidates or lawmakers need considerable help to win their race: Andy Mayberry in Arkansas, J.D. Hayworth in Arizona, Brian Bilbray in California, Joe Negron in Florida, Chris Chocola and John Hostettler in Indiana, Anne Northup in Kentucky, Michelle Bachmann and John Kline in Minnesota, Heather Wilson in Nw Mexico, Tom Reynolds in New York, Jean Schmidt in Ohio, Dave Reichert in Washington and Barbara Cubin in Wyoming.