In every major election since National Right to Life PAC was founded in 1980, pro-life candidates have had the advantage with voters. Consistently, more voters who select their candidate based on his or her abortion position will vote for the pro-life candidate than for the pro-abortion candidate. The prolife votes will come from men and women, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. In a close race, this “pro-life advantage” – more single-issue pro-life voters than single-issue pro-abortion voters – can make the difference between winning and losing. Unfortunately, sometimes pro-abortion candidates win because part of the pro-life community doesn’t help elect pro-life candidates, it helps defeat them. When pro-abortion candidates win, unborn babies lose.
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1 – Fall in love with your candidate
We encourage pro-lifers to get involved in campaigns. Their active participation and volunteer activities can help a pro-life candidate build a strong campaign. It also puts the prolifer in contact with the candidate so that if he/she wins, a relationship can be built and strengthened. Too often pro-lifers get so excited about their candidate that if he/she loses to another pro-life candidate (especially in a primary), the pro-life grassroots person becomes like the child who lost a game – he takes his toys and goes home. He doesn’t support the pro-life candidate who won and won’t volunteer in the campaign or work to get others to vote for that candidate. Pro-life candidates need the active support of all pro-lifers and, all too often, without that full support, a pro-abortion candidate wins.
2 – Fall in love with your candidate
Believe that your candidate is the only “real” pro-life candidate in the race and bash other pro-life candidates. In a primary where there are several pro-life candidates, pro-life individuals select the candidate they think is best. Then, unfortunately, some pro-lifers attack other pro-life candidates as not being “prolife enough.” If, for example, another candidate has a 20-year pro-life voting record, they pick out the one or two votes that he didn’t vote right on and attack him as not being really prolife. By doing this, the pro-lifer demoralizes other pro-lifers and weakens enthusiasm for the pro-life candidate who does win the primary. The pro-abortion candidate will, of course, take advantage of this. Because some pro-lifers have attacked the successful pro-life candidate, the pro-abortion candidate will use that in pro-life circles to hold down support for his opponent. Ironically, at the same time, the pro-abortion candidate is going to other voters, attacking the pro-life candidate as a “radical pro-life extremist.”
3 – Support a really nice candidate who is pro-life but has no chance of winning Millions of unborn children’s lives are at stake.
That’s why the viability of a candidate must be considered when we decide who to vote for. There are some wonderful pro-lifers who may even be active in our chapters, who decide to run for office. However, if they can’t gain enough support to be a viable candidate, they need to be encouraged to step aside for a candidate who can actually win and take action to protect unborn children.
4 – Expect the candidate to sound like a Right to Life chapter chairman.
People who are not directly involved in the pro-life movement are not going to be as articulate or well-versed on all the pro-life issues. They may not know about the abortifacient properties of RU 486 or understand the ins and outs of the Mexico City Policy. Unless there has been some prior discussion with active pro-lifers, some candidates may not realize that there are certain “code words” that are interpreted differently by the pro-life community. Just because the wrong word comes out of his/her mouth doesn’t necessarily make the candidate a phony. Sometimes a truly pro-life candidate can be tripped up by the media, confused, ill-informed, misquoted, or quoted out of context. Give him a chance to explain what he really believes. Many candidates are against abortion because they have a religious background that tells them abortion is wrong, or they have a natural instinct that wants to protect the babies. They will do what’s right when they’re elected, but that doesn’t mean they will be comfortable or articulate talking about the killing of unborn babies. Remember, words are nice, action is better.
5 – Expect the candidate to always make abortion the major issue in the campaign.
A November 2008 post-election poll by The Polling CompanyTM found that 34% of voters said abortion affected the way that they voted. Of those, 25% said they voted for the pro-life candidate and 9% said they voted for candidates who favored abortion. While it is a distinct advantage for candidates to be pro-life and does make a difference in the outcome of an election, it also means that 66% of the voters had other issues that were more important to them. In order to win, a candidate has to focus on many issues that will appeal to a broad variety of voters. It is the job of the right to life movement to inform the prolife community about the candidate’s position on abortion. It is the candidate’s job to reach a cross-section of voters on a broad range of issues. When abortion is discussed in the campaign, the candidate must clearly and directly articulate his/her pro-life position. However, to expect the candidate to always make abortion the major issue in the campaign can be a sure way to lose an election.
6 – Vote for a third-party or independent candidate who ha no chance of winning.
When a general election is between a pro-life candidate and a pro-abortion candidate representing established parties, there will be times when a third-party or independent candidate will get into the race, claiming to be the “real” pro-lifer. He will attack the pro-life candidate who has a real chance of winning and get other pro-lifers to do the same. This is a sure strategy to elect the pro-abortion candidate. Pro-lifers who support the third-party or independent candidate, to the detriment of the pro-life candidate who could win, may feel like they have not compromised their principles – but if they succeed in indirectly helping to elect a candidate who will allow the killing of unborn babies to continue, they have compromised away something far more important – children’s lives.