The Catholic vote has the power to shape the result of key national elections and, just as Catholic voters put pro-abortion President Barack Obama over the top in 2008, they put pro-life Republicans in the winner’s circle on Tuesday.
Exit poling data from CNN shows 53 percent of Catholic voters sided with Republican candidates while Democrats won 45 percent of the vote and two percent vote for candidates of other parties or independents.
As LifeNews.com noted previously, Republicans went from a 10-point deficit in 2008 with Catholic voters to an eight percent advantage this time — which is similar to the projections in a New York Times poll conducted shortly before the election.
Joshua Mercer of CatholicVote.org says Catholic voters were responsible for the pro-life gains in many of the top election contests.
“This critical swing vote delivered big wins for the GOP, especially in the Midwest. Republicans won the Governor races in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa,” he said. “State Houses in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa flipped to the GOP and the Minnesota Senate is now in Republican hands. Both houses in the Wisconsin Legislature flipped to the GOP.”
“The Midwest has been the key presidential battleground for decades. After the 2006 and 2008 elections, some Democrats had hoped that the Republican Party would become a regional party consigned to winning only in the South, since they lost heavily in the Midwest and got clobbered in New England,” he explained.
Mercer says Catholic Republican candidates like Dan Benishek in Michigan, Bobby Schilling in Illinois and Sean Duffy in Wisconsin “all contributed to the GOP’s comeback in the Midwest by winning House seats held by Catholic Democrats.”
“By winning the Catholic vote, the GOP has piled up major victories in the Midwest,” he noted.
Brian Burch of the pro-life Catholic political group noted that compromising Catholics, those who apologize for abortion advocates, didn’t fare as well.
“In Virginia, the founder of the liberal Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (a group that publicly justified Catholic support for pro-abortion candidates) lost his seat to pro-life challenger Robert Hurt. CatholicVote.org backed Hurt with a radio blitz during the final week of the campaign,” he noted.
And pro-life Catholic candidate Frank Guinta unseated Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire where she compromised her Catholic views by actively supporting abortion.
Of the 10 candidates his group endorsed, 8 won.
“But we also helped lead the charge in educating, and mobilizing the most important voting bloc in America – the Catholic vote,” he said. “Votes have consequences, and virtually every so- called ‘pro-life’ legislator that voted for Obamacare went down to defeat.”