by Steven Ertelt
October 27, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The latest polling numbers for the week show that abortion advocates might gain control of the House of Representatives but pro-life advocates would keep control of the U.S. Senate. Should that happen, Congress will likely be embroiled in bitter fights about abortion, embryonic stem cell research and funding the morning after pill.
Analysis from leading political observers such as Congressional Quarterly and Real Clear Politics indicates abortion advocates will not gain control of the Senate.
Democrats, who are expected to have no more than two pro-life members of their caucus after the elections, need to gain six seats to be able to run the Senate but polls show pro-life candidates in Missouri, Virginia and Tennessee holding on to slim leads to prevent that from happening.
Missouri Sen. Jim Talent has finally reached 50% in a poll as a new Rasmussen survey has him leading pro-abortion candidate Claire McCaskill 50-48. Talent leads by three percent in the other two most recent polls.
Sen. George Allen, who opposes abortions, leads pro-abortion candidate James Webb in Virginia by two and three percent respectively in two recent polls and climbed to 50 percent in the most recent one.
And in Tennessee, pro-abortion candidate Harold Ford has not led Bob Corker in any of the last four polls, which have shown Corker with an average lead of 2.3 percent.
Pro-life advocates will need those three candidates to win as other pro-life lawmakers appear to be in trouble.
In Montana, pro-life Sen. Conrad Burns hasn’t led in any of the recent polls and the last four show abortion advocate Jon Tester ahead by more than 5 percent. Burns has significantly more money than Tester for these final two weeks of campaigning, but it may not save him from defeat.
Ohio pro-life Sen. Mike DeWine appears likely to lose his seat to pro-abortion Rep Sherrod Brown. DeWine is behind 54-43 and 57-37 in the two most recent surveys.
Predictions that pro-life Sen. Rick Santorum would lose to Bob Casey, who opposes abortion, have been made by political observers for weeks. Santorum has not closed the gap and Casey has a lead of 12 percent in the both of the two most recent polls.
Pro-life candidates who are hoping to pick up pro-abortion Senate seats are also not faring well.
Maryland’s pro-life Lt. Governor Michael Steele has the best chance. Steele was behind pro-abortion Rep. Ben Cardin by a 8-9 percent margin two weeks ago but a poll last week saw the two tied at 46 percent apiece. Should Steele win, that would almost guarantee that the Senate will remain in the hands of pro-life lawmakers.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s Mike Bouchard (down to pro-abortion Sen. Debbie Stabenow by about 10 percent), Minnesota’s Mark Kennedy (losing to pro-abortion candidate Amy Klobuchar by about 12 percent), and Mike McGavick (behind pro-abortion Sen. Maria Cantwell by 12 percent) are three candidates whose hopes are fading.
Looking at House races, Congressional Quarterly projects Democrats leading in 210 House races and Republicans ahead in 207 with 18 tossups. Other observers are projecting better numbers for Democrats.
Ultimately, abortion advocates need Democrats to gain 15 seats for control of the House. Though the House has a few dozen pro-life Democrats, abortion advocates would likely lead the party and run committees that would control important legislation and investigation powers.
The problem for pro-life advocates is that there are about 50 seats that arguably could change hands and just four involve pro-abortion lawmakers losing their seat to a pro-life candidate.
Latest polls of pro-life candidates show New York Rep. Tom Reynolds doing better, Virginia Rep. Thelma Drake ahead slightly, Indiana Rep. John Hostettler still behind, Indiana Rep. Mike Sodrel catching up, Minnesota candidate Michele Bachmann ahead slightly, Pennsylvania Rep. Melissa Hart ahead slightly, Pennsylvania Rep. Don Sherwood behind, California Rep. John Doolittle likely winning, and Illinois candidate Peter Roskam ahead slightly.
Polls in some of the top gubernatorial races across the nation show mixed results.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, Congressman Jim Gibbons in Nevada, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are pro-life candidates who appear headed for victory.
Florida candidate Charlie Crist, Iowa candidate Jim Nussle, Michigan candidate Dick DeVos, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Wisconsin candidate Mark Green are all within striking distance of winning but will need significant help in the next 11 days to win.
Unfortunately, Arizona’s Len Munsil, Arkansas’ Asa Hutchinson, Colorado’s Bob Beauprez, Ohio’s Ken Blackwell, Pennsylvania’s Lynn Swann, and Tennessee’s Jim Bryson appear to be headed for defeat. They are all behind by more than 10 percent in the latest surveys.