Tag archives: voting

The Final 2020 Election Results Show that Despite a Divided Nation, Social Conservatives Won Big

by Connor Semelsberger

February 19, 2021

The 2020 election cycle has finally come to a close with Anthony Brindisi conceding his loss to Claudia Tenney in the contentious race to represent New York’s 22nd Congressional District. Claudia Tenney now reclaims the seat she held in Congress from 2017-2018 by a mere 109 votes. This close election victory is the cherry on top for what now appears to be the narrowest election results in recent history.

In 2020, Democrats won the presidency, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House, taking back full control of the federal government only four years after Republicans did the same thing in 2016. This last election cycle showed just how divided the nation is, as The Washington Post recently reported that only 90,000 votes nationwide separated the current Democratic controlled federal government from one that is completely controlled by Republicans.

Tenney’s victory adds to the already strengthened Republican minority in the House of Representatives. Not only does this narrow the Democrat majority even further, but Tenney now adds to the record setting number of female Republican Members of Congress. There are now 30 female Republicans in the House, breaking the previous record of 25.

In the 2020 elections, Republicans had been elected to 213 House seats, however the tragic passing of Luke Letlow (LA-5) and Ron Wright (TX-6) has left two of those seats vacant. Democrats also have three potential vacancies due to Cedrick Richmond (LA-2), Deb Haaland, (NM-1), and Marcia Fudge (OH-11) all being nominated to positions in the Biden administration. These changes make the current Democratic House majority a slim 219-211 split. 

In the Senate, Democrats have an even narrower majority working with a 50-50 Senate that is controlled by Democrats since Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the President of the Senate and has the authority to break ties. The 50-50 Senate split was made possible by the narrow victories of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the Georgia runoff elections in January.

The good news is that those elected officials who fight for faith, family, and freedom won big this election. One hundred six of the 117 House candidates endorsed by FRC Action won—that’s a 91 percent success rate. Even better, all 74 of the incumbent House members that scored a 100 percent on the FRC Action Scorecard won re-election. Champions of social values saw similar success in the Senate as 15 of the 18 senators with perfect scores on our scorecard won re-election and over 75 percent of the candidates endorsed won their race. While elections overall were the closest they have been in years, those candidates that were willing to stand up for life, family, and religious freedom won handily.

The 2020 elections have led to the smallest governing majority for Democrats since Woodrow Wilson was president in 1917! A mere six votes (five in the House and one in the Senate) now make the difference between Democrats passing their radical liberal agenda or not. It may seem like discouraging times when one party controls so much of the federal government, but the 2020 election results demonstrate clearly that all votes matter. Whether it’s one vote in the Senate to stop a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package from funding abortion businesses, or one vote in an Iowa congressional race that was decided by six, we must continue to Pray, Vote, and Stand.

5 Actions Steps for Christians Following the 2020 Election

by Chris Curry

February 4, 2021

Frustration continues to rank high for many conservatives and Christians following this last election cycle. With so many conflicting messages, people are at a loss for how to proceed in this new reality where the truth is more difficult to identify and discern. We know changes are needed in our election process, but there are many questions about how we can individually affect change. The reality is that the more Christians engage, the more significantly we will impact future outcomes. If guided by God, we can participate in the beginnings of something remarkable over the next couple of years. Here are five areas where we can individually and collectively make a difference:

1. We need to work in our home states to clean up the election process.

Under the Constitution, state legislatures are responsible for developing laws regarding elections. In our republic, officeholders serve under the consent of the governed; that’s us.

Presently, Republicans control most state legislatures, but some need our help to do the right thing. We can work with legislators to rid states of easily manipulated voting systems and then promote in-person paper ballots with stringent photo and signature verification. Regarding absentee ballots, the best practices include signature verification from a notary public.

Finally, we can serve as election judges and encourage laws that require multiple people of different political parties to monitor the counting of every ballot.

2. As Christians, we must know and understand the Bible and what God says on issues.

Perhaps the biggest reason we are in today’s situation is because of biblical illiteracy. We hear about rendering unto Caesar and God accordingly and seem to conclude that we should compartmentalize our faith from culture. Meanwhile, we ignore biblical characters like Moses, Nathan, Daniel, John the Baptist, and Paul, who stood against political figures and counseled them.

Too many Christians subscribe to a religion based more on emotion than the truth, but our God is both emotional and rational. Long-term relationships endure when we know the heart and mind of the other person. Relationships based on emotional infatuation are fleeting. When our emotions and intellects are rooted in deep biblical understanding, our minds will keep things in check when someone presents a counterfeit message. To know the mind of God, we must understand the word of God.

3. We need to engage through our local churches in a winsome and loving manner.

Significant numbers of congregational members do not believe abortion, same-sex marriage, or even homosexual activities are contrary to biblical teaching. And if they do recognize the concern, they don’t want us to talk about those issues.

The problem with this is that when we come to Christ, he changes us; we become more like him. Romans 12:2 tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Too many people are inclined to allow their sympathy for a friend’s struggle with sin to supersede their belief in God’s ability to deliver them from that sin. When we communicate Christ’s redemption without repentance, we do a grave disservice.

In churches, well-meaning people claim “you can’t legislate morality” but fail to acknowledge that every law, from speed limits to murder prohibitions, is rooted in a collective moral code. When confronted with this rationale, they explain that it’s wrong to force the Bible on others but then fail to recognize that our Founders believed our Constitution would only work for a people who first subscribed to biblical truth and its teachings.

When we work with our church leaders and members, we can better help them identify false teachings.

4. We must know our Constitution and the writings of the Founders.

I contend that the second-biggest reason our country is in its present state is because we don’t know what our Founders said and believed. No words crafted by man, used in the birth of a nation, can compare to our Constitution and other founding documents. If we read and study the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and other writings by our Founders, we will conclude they believed in God. We will also understand that most of them had a deep abiding Christian faith.

5. We need to encourage good Christians to run for office, be it school boards, city councils, mayor, county, state, and federal offices.

Then we need to turn out in mass to support them. Maybe you need to run for one of these positions. We must be diligent, though, because many of these elections do not follow the same calendar as Presidential and U.S. Congressional elections.

We didn’t arrive at this point overnight but through the long erosion that occurred while we lazily took our eye off the country and played. If we are to emerge from this, we must be diligent, tenacious, and hold to the truth while being guided by the Holy Spirit. It will not be comfortable; it will not be easy. We will face opposition in areas never suspected.

We need to continue following 2 Chronicles 7:14 as we seek individual and collective forgiveness from God. If our republic is to continue, revival must happen first among those who call on the name of Christ. If Christians genuinely repent and remain faithful to God’s calling and participation in his Great Commission, revival may then spread beyond his church and into a great awakening across this land.

Do not be discouraged. Do not disengage. If breath fills our lungs, God has more work for us to complete that will benefit ours and succeeding generations. We must stand and be counted before God and man as we accomplish the tasks at hand. As Nehemiah sought to do in his day, we have a wall to rebuild, and watchmen are needed to stand guard upon it.

Chris Curry is the Director of Broadcast Relations at Family Research Council.

For Every Election, There Is Usually an Equal and Opposite Re-Election

by Matt Carpenter

February 3, 2021

With Democrat control in both chambers of Congress and the White House, our country is bracing for a full-on radical leftist offensive in our federal government. Religious freedom and protections for the unborn and the family will come under assault by an unchecked liberal order in our nation’s capital—for at least the next two years, that is, until the midterm elections in 2022 when Americans can choose new members of Congress to weaken this liberal government.

There is no doubt our federal government will certainly implement new policies, rescind previous policies, and fund projects antithetical to the values we hold dear. Despite this, we must remember we can moderate this radicalism in our federal government by voting for candidates at the state and local level that affirm our biblical values. Every vote matters.

When the federal government goes off the rails and embraces radical leftism, as it did in 2008 after the election of Barack Obama and the reelection of a Democrat Congress, it is the states that wind up being a bulwark against the total top-to-bottom saturation of leftist policy in American life. Even the left-wing website Vox, noticing the sharp increase in pro-life laws at the state-level, had to admit as much in 2015, writing:

Abortion rights activists have long cheered Barack Obama’s presidency as a “historic victory for women’s health.” But the reality has been rather different. Since 2010, getting an abortion in America has become significantly harder.

States passed a record 205 abortion restrictions between 2011 and 2013, more than the entire 30 years prior. As a result, many abortion providers are closing down. One survey, from pro-life group Operation Rescue, estimates that 87 separate locations ceased to perform surgical abortions in 2013. These changes are a clear result of pro-life mobilization in the Obama era.

You’ve no doubt heard of Isaac Newton’s “Third Law of Motion”: “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When pro-abortion, anti-religious freedom, and anti-family forces assume control of our federal government, there is a necessary reaction. In electoral terms, this means states with pro-life, pro-family, pro-faith majorities and governors can and will act—as we saw following the 2010 midterms. Your vote matters. Up and down the ticket, you have an opportunity to elect candidates who will either harm or advance biblical values at the federal or state level.

In state legislatures, every vote really matters. Sometimes, just a handful of votes can separate the winner and loser. Just ask Virginia Delegate David Yancey, a Republican, who in 2019 won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates by having his name pulled out of a ceramic bowl. His opponent had originally “won” with one vote, but after a three-judge panel weighed in, the race became a tie—which, in Virginia law, triggers pulling a candidate’s name out of a bowl. Yancey’s name was pulled out of the bowl, and the GOP retained a slim 51-49 control of the state house.

According to Ballotpedia, in the most recent 2020 elections, there were 30 state legislative seats determined by 100 votes or less—of which, 15 went to the incumbent, 13 to the GOP candidate, and just two to the Democrat candidate. These candidates will impact policy in the short term, and potentially, could go on to higher office at the state or federal level. Winning state legislative seats now is imperative for winning federal (or statewide) seats in the future.

In 2018, Ballotpedia noted that 88 state legislative seats were determined by 0.5 percent or less of the vote. Values voters should be aware of who represents them not just in the White House and in Congress, but also at the state level. If you live in a district where a candidate who opposes your values represents you in your state capitol, and that candidate was one of the 88 who won by 0.5 percent or less in 2018, your vote could be determinative of whether or not they return to the state capitol to harm the values you hold dear.

If you are feeling discouraged by the results of the presidential contest and the two Georgia run-off elections, you should remain optimistic that state legislatures provide a real opportunity to temper the extremism of our national government. Your vote matters, up and down the ballot. While Congress and the White House may pose challenges to our biblical values in the short term, we can be optimistic that state legislatures will provide a necessary opposition to the complete metastasizing of leftism immediately and provide a bench of possible alternative members of Congress for the future.

The 2020 Election: A Letter to Young Conservatives

by Molly Carman

October 16, 2020

Dear young American conservatives,

I am a recent graduate from college who has only just begun my professional career, and like other young conservatives today, I have been restless as we approach the 2020 elections. Whether you will be a first-time voter in the election, are a recent college graduate, have started your first young professional job, have recently married, or are nearing 30, I invite you to consider your role and responsibility in the election this fall.

Many of you plan to do one of three things this election: vote for Trump because you actually believe he is the best option, vote for Biden because you don’t like Trump, or completely disengage and not vote because you are “conflicted” and feel like you are having to choose between the lesser of two evils. For some reason, passivity has become commendable and ignorance has been deemed bravery when it comes to politics this election season. However, we are fools if we truly believe that our inaction is more beneficial then our action.

When conflicted on whether or not to stand up against Hitler during World War II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer chose to take a stand because he was convicted that, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” We have been given a stewardship and a trust with our vote as citizens of the United States of America. This is why Elizabeth Stanton in the suffrage movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights movement fought for the right to vote.

The United States of America is a constitutional republic, which means that power belongs to the people and they choose who is placed in positions of authority and government. As noted by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist paper 22, “The fabric of the American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate authority.” It is not for authority to be passed down, but to be passed up.

Romans 13 is clear that ultimately, God is the one who places individuals in positions of authority. Because God places them in positions of authority, Paul commands everyone to, “be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (v.1). When we vote, we are giving our power into the hands of another and charging them to lead our nation under God. Citizens are to seek God’s wisdom and ask for discernment as we nominate, endorse, and vote for these roles.

Because we the people hold the power to elect various officials, we must steward our vote intentionally. We are not just voting for party, personality, or how presidential they look. When we vote, we should vote for policies and platforms that uphold justice, life, family, religious liberty, and representation of the people. Through my personal conversations and from observing social media behavior, it is clear that numerous young conservatives are choosing to become recalcitrant this fall. The attitude has become, “Lets bad mouth and crack jokes about the candidates and platforms.” In terms of actually participating in the political process, it has become popular to disengage—to make smart remarks but fail to engage in the civic duty of voting.

Do not get me wrong: elections can be frustrating, politics can be strenuous, and policies can be exasperating, but these emotions—though real—should not lead us to conclude that disengagement is the best response. When we make the choice to throw away our votes, we are choosing laziness over responsibility, passivity over action, naivety over wisdom, immaturity over courage, and selfishness over the republic.

I do not believe that it will be helpful to tell you stories of times when men and women decided last minute to vote and their candidate won by one point and this moment changed their whole perspective on voting. These stories have occurred, but this is not why we vote. We vote to preserve the values and virtues that our Founders fought and died for. The future of our nation is dependent on who you vote for, because for better or worse, they will be the sword bearers of power and the leaders of our nation.

America is the land of the free and the home of the brave because George Washington decided to leave his home at Mount Vernon and lead the fight in the Revolutionary War, because young men left their homes to fight on the beaches of Normandy, because Martin Luther King Jr. chose to reject inequality and fight for civil rights. You only have your vote today because of the blood, sweat, and tears shed to retain it. It is a slander on our nation, on your character, and to God when good men and women do nothing and squander our stewardship.

To vote or not to vote” is not the question. Voting is your duty! To consider more reasons why young conservatives, especially Christians, should be politically engaged, go to frc.org/engage.

Your fellow patriot,

Molly Carman

Election Polls in 2020: Deja Vu All Over Again?

by Matt Carpenter

October 13, 2020

With less than a month to go until election day, both President Trump and former Vice President Biden are campaigning to see who will fill the Oval Office for the next four years. From the moment the two earned their party’s nomination, public opinion polling has shown Biden leading President Trump both nationally and in most swing states. The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average of national polls currently has Biden with a 9.2 point lead, similar national polling aggregators FiveThirtyEight and CNN show Biden with an 8.4 point lead and 11 point lead, respectively.

With that said, it’s important for voters to recall some of the disasters in public polling from the 2016 race when then-candidate Donald Trump pulled off perhaps the greatest electoral surprise in American history, winning the electoral college 304 to 227.

Looking at just the polling data alone in this year’s presidential election, you could swap out “Biden” with “Clinton” and you would see a very similar race to 2016. In fact, a recent CNN poll shows the former Vice President up 16 points on President Trump nationally. Interestingly enough, CNN released a similar poll at around the same time 2016 showing Hillary Clinton up on Donald Trump by 12 points—and we all know who won in 2016. The stunning collapse of the public polling industry in 2016, and the confidence in which they projected Clinton’s inevitable win, leave voters this year skeptical of the same prognosticators and pundits who failed to call the 2016 election correctly.

Voter registration data can inform us on existing trends in the swing states that will likely determine the election. It’s one thing to answer a poll on the phone, or online, and simply state your intentions to vote—it’s another thing to see how voters are actually behaving.

Among the most coveted swing states this year are Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Each of these states report partisan registration data. A recent article from CBS News took a closer look at voter registration trends since 2016 and shows some interesting numbers. What does the voter registration data in these key swing states tell us?

In Florida, Republicans have outpaced Democrats in new voter registrations by about 183,000 new voters. Florida is the quintessential swing state. Diverse demographically, economically, culturally, and politically, small moves in the electorate can have huge ramifications for both state and federal elections. In 2018, Ron DeSantis won his race for governor by just 30,000 votes and Rick Scott unseated longtime incumbent Senator Bill Nelson by just 10,000 votes.

Pennsylvania also shows some interesting numbers of newly registered voters since 2016. Since 2016, when Donald Trump became the first GOP presidential candidate to win the Keystone State since Reagan in 1988, Pennsylvania Republicans have grown their ranks by 3.7 percent, while Pennsylvania Democrats have actually lost 1.5 percent of their share of the electorate. Just looking at voter registration numbers since June of 2020 shows a startling contrast: 135,619 new GOP voters registered in the state to the Democrats’ 57,985.

Of these three swing states, none show more promise for the president’s reelection hopes than North Carolina, where the number of registered Democrats has tumbled more than 6 percent since 2016, and GOP voter registrations have grown by almost 3.5 percent. In 2016, President Trump won North Carolina by 173,315 votes, or 3.6 percent. A shrinking pool of voters for Biden to pull from will undoubtedly make his task of improving on Clinton’s performance there in 2016 difficult.

Next, let’s look at two of the rust belt states that were reliably Democrat for decades and flipped to the GOP in 2016: Wisconsin and Michigan. Neither of these states register voters by party affiliation, so it’s hard to tell exactly how the major parties are faring. But both Michigan and Wisconsin make information on voter registration numbers by county available. Looking at changes in voter registration numbers at the county level and how each county performed in the last presidential election can give us a good picture of how each area of the state will vote in this year’s election.

Let’s start with Wisconsin—a state where then-candidate Donald Trump won 60 counties to Hillary Clinton’s 12. Since November 2016, the total number of voters in Wisconsin has dropped by more than 31,000. If we look only at the 60 counties Trump won in 2016, we see those counties actually gained more than 2,900 voters—a modest number in and of itself, but significant in that it bucked the statewide trend. When we turn our attention to the 12 counties Clinton won, we see a net loss of more than 36,000 voters. The bluest areas of the state are hemorrhaging voters.

In the electoral-vote-rich state of Michigan, Trump won 75 counties to Clinton’s 8. Michigan has seen its voter rolls grow by more than 400,000 voters since November 2016. Since then, the 75 counties that went for Trump reported an increase in over 245,000 new voters to the Clinton counties’ 155,000. Put another way, 61 percent of new voter registrations in Michigan are attributable to counties of the state where President Trump won, compared to just 38 percent from areas Clinton won.

Both Wisconsin and Michigan were decided by less than 1 percent. Wisconsin was decided by 22,748 votes, or 0.82 percent; Michigan was decided by a mere 10,704 votes, or 0.24 percent. Every vote matters, and with less voters in deep blue counties, we have to assume Biden will need to do far better than Clinton did in areas Trump won. Conversely, with more voters in areas Trump won, the president will be able to add to his column in these counties.

In each of the swing states we’ve discussed, Democrats still retain an advantage in overall voter registration. In North Carolina, that edge is around 400,000 voters; in Florida, the Democrat advantage is 183,000 voters; and in Pennsylvania, the Democrat edge is 717,000 voters. But the trend lines are clear: more new voters are opting to register as GOP or are registering in areas that lean heavily GOP.

It is also worth noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has not left the voter registration game unscathed. In fact, as colleges and universities remain shuttered in response to the virus, voter registration numbers in college towns have plummeted. This will lessen the impact deep blue college towns have on swing states as tens of thousands of out-of-state students who would otherwise be able to register to vote in the swing states mentioned earlier are forced to vote in their home state—which may or may not be competitive this year.

In closing, voters should be wary of reading too much into public opinion polls, and instead should look at other data. We’ve looked at how voter registration rolls in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have changed. In states that allow partisan voter registration (Florida, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina), we have seen a clear increase in GOP voter registration numbers since the last time Donald Trump was on the ballot, and in some cases, we’ve seen the total number of Democrats actually decrease since 2016. In the two other states we looked at (Michigan and Wisconsin) that do not register voters by party affiliation, we looked at the county-level data and saw that areas where Donald Trump won in 2016 reported larger increases in voter registration numbers, while deep-blue areas where Clinton ran up the score either reported lesser numbers of new voters or even lost voters since 2016.

The last time Donald Trump was on the ballot, the odds looked to be stacked against him. Many national and swing state polling showed his path to 270 electoral votes to be practically nonexistent. Trump won in 2016 by pulling blue collar voters into his coalition and remaking American politics. While it is possible the pollsters have gotten their act together this year and are now telling us the actual state of the race, it is also just as likely they are making the same mistakes that undercounted the president’s base and failed to accurately predict turnout. The available voter registration data seems to be telling us that Trump’s base has actually grown since 2016, and this election will come down to who turns out to vote.

Elections Have Consequences

by Worth Loving

February 15, 2019

Many Americans were understandably horrified when New York passed one of the most expansive late-term abortion laws in the country a few weeks ago. When asked about a similar bill proposed in his own state, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam not only defended the bill but also argued for infanticide. Now, states like Vermont and Rhode Island have been emboldened to pursue even more radical abortion bills.

The rush to lift restrictions on late-term abortions reveals a common theme—elections have consequences. For example, consider New York. While pro-choice Governor Andrew Cuomo was elected in 2011, Republicans regained control of the New York Senate. Since becoming Governor, one of Cuomo’s promises has been to legalize late-term abortion. However, the Republican-controlled Senate has continually stood in his way. But in the 2018 midterm elections, Republicans lost their majority in the state senate. This created a trifecta, with Democrats controlling the Assembly, Senate, and Governor’s Mansion. Once the new legislature convened on January 9, they wasted no time in fast-tracking the Reproductive Health Act to passage on January 22. Governor Cuomo signed it into law the same night. In New York, the 2018 elections had serious consequences for unborn babies.

Virginia also provides a prime example of why elections matter. While pro-life Republicans have not held the governorship since 2013, they have controlled the House of Delegates since 2000 and the Senate since 2013. In 2017, Republicans nearly lost control of both houses. The Senate remained in their control by one seat while control of the House of Delegates was decided by a name drawing. After Republican incumbent David Yancey and Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds each received 11,608 votes in District 94, the Virginia Board of Elections drew their names from a bowl. Yancey’s name was drawn first, allowing Republicans to retain a narrow 51-49 majority in the House of Delegates. If the outcome had only differed by one seat in each house, Delegate Kathy Tran’s New York look-a-like bill championed by pro-choice Governor Ralph Northam may very well have passed both houses and been signed into law. In Virginia, elections had serious consequences for babies, both born and unborn.

As we approach the 2020 elections, abortion will once again be a front-and-center issue. Even more so will be the issue of infanticide. An overwhelming 77 percent of voters support federal legislation known as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act that would protect infants who survive a botched abortion. Despite this support, Democrats continue to block this bill in both the House and Senate.

So remember when you go to the polls on November 3, 2020—the lives of perfectly viable children are in your hands. Together, let’s send a message to the Democratic Party that the United States stands resolutely against infanticide and that their refusal to condemn it is grossly out of touch with mainstream America. Let’s remind them that elections have consequences. 

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The Final 2020 Election Results Show that Despite a Divided Nation, Social Conservatives Won Big
by Connor Semelsberger (Feb. 19, 2021)

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