Thursday October 7, 2010

Democrats Hope Pro-Life Candidate Will be GOP Spoiler in Illinois Pro-Abort Senate Battle

By Peter J. Smith

CHICAGO, October 7, 2010 ( – In Illinois voters are faced with two pro-abortion politicians slugging it out for the lead in the senate special election race. However one third party candidate is pro-life, and Democrats are hoping that his candidacy could end up having a spoiler effect on the GOP’s chances to cobble together a majority in the U.S. Senate.

GOP’s Mark Kirk, who is presently serving in the U.S. House, and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias are about evenly matched in their struggle to capture (for the GOP) or retain (for the Democrats) President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat.

According to Rasmussen, Kirk is just edging ahead of Giannoulias, 45 percent to 41 percent. That’s still within the polling firm’s +/- 4 percent margin of error.

Illinois is listed among four states rated “Toss-Ups” by Rasmussen Reports, which right now predicts 48 Senate seats for the Democrats and 48 Senate seats for the Republicans. The other toss-ups are California, Nevada, and Washington – all these states have pro-life candidates facing pro-abortion opponents.

The GOP’s Kirk has scored a nearly perfect pro-abortion voting record in Congress, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America, but angered abortion activists in November 2009 by voting for the Pitts-Stupak amendment, and against the health care reform bill.

The candidate also has a strong history of voting with gay activists, and received legislative ratings of 76 percent in 2006 and 85 percent in 2008 from the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual lobby group.

However, Kirk, a former commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, voted against the repeal of a 1993 law dealing with gays in the military (commonly referred to as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell), angering gay activists.

The only pro-life candidate in the race is Michael Labno. The Libertarian Party candidate has barely made a blip on the political radar, while Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones is in third place with 4 percent of the vote.

However, Labno’s candidacy recently got a boost in publicity from a high profile endorsement by none other than Giannoulias, who issued a press release welcoming Labno’s official entry on the state ballot. The Democrat, who is trying to deal with Jones’ third-party candidacy, which is taking away what could be Democrat votes, has been eager to highlight Labno’s social and fiscal conservative credentials in a bid to siphon off votes from Kirk, who voted for Wall Street bailouts.

Since the Illinois Senate race is also a special election, the winner of the race will be seated immediately in time for the upcoming lame-duck session, where a bill to overturn the military ban on DADT and abortions on bases will be on the Senate’s agenda, along with 19 other legislative items.

The GOP is counting on Kirk to strengthen their filibuster; he has said he will vote against any lame-duck legislation. Senate Democrats, on the other hand, need Giannoulias in the chamber to keep their 59 seat majority intact in the lame-duck; the odds of enacting their legislative agenda increases if they need to pick off just one GOP vote and not two or more.

Whether Giannoulias’s strategy has any effect on Kirk’s campaign still remains to be seen. So far, more than one out of ten voters say they prefer “some other candidate” (5 percent) or are “not sure” (6 percent).

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GOP Leads Democrat in Pro-Life Senate Race for West Virginia

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