Anti-abortion, pro-family values Republicans who didn't mince words when it came to stating their views won — and those who ducked taking a bold position on socially conservative issues lost.
"I think what you saw here are candidates who embrace the values, the values voters embrace them," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told the Christian Post.
"I think this was a clear referendum on Barack Obama and his liberal policies, and I think that is going to come with a mandate to the Republicans that they address these issues and address them quickly."
In race after race, Republicans who openly espoused conservative social values came out ahead, the Christian Post reported.
Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, facing a strong challenge from independent Greg Orman, pulled the race out in the end, Perkins said, because, "He was down significantly and almost left for political dead and he did not run from those values issues. Rather, he embraced them."
In Arkansas, Tom Cotton campaigned on a pro-life, family values platform, as did Joni Ernst in Iowa, and both won.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, told the Post, "Ernst is the most significant among the Susan B. Anthony list's efforts, because this is an unapologetic pro-life woman who will be on the floor for the U.S. Senate advocating for pro-life legislation. And that is an enormous victory for women and the Susan B. Anthony List."
Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., supported by the pro-choice group Emily's List, lost out to Republican challenger and pro-lifer Thom Tillis. Barbara Holt, president of North Carolina Right to Life, told Life News,
"Thom Tillis has demonstrated his effectiveness in the fight to protect innocent human life in North Carolina with his leadership in the North Carolina House. His excellent style and knowledge will serve him well in advocating for the unborn babies and their mothers in the U.S. Senate."
The same dynamics hold true for Republicans Elise Stefanik, who beat Democrat Aaron Woolf in New York, and Mia Love, who won a House seat in Utah.
"I believe that the abortion-centered 'War on Women' message has just died. It is dead in the water," Dannenfelser told the Christian Post.
Wendy Davis, who filibustered against abortion restrictions in the Texas legislature, lost out to pro-life candidate Greg Abbott in the Lone Star State's governor's race, The Week magazine
notes, adding, "Tuesday was a good night not just for the Republican Party in general, but for the anti-abortion cause more specifically.
"Anti-abortion candidates should realize — understand down to their bones — that the best defense is a good offense, and that, deep down, more Americans are on their side than not, if a good case is made."
However, in the case of Scott Brown, the Republican who lost his race against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., conservatives say Brown was hurt because he did not strongly take a stance opposing gay marriage or abortion.
"I think the main problem with Scott Brown is that he never clarified what he believed at all," Dannenfelser told the Christian Post.
"He could have done something like that. It would have been smart to do something like that, and he didn't do that. He did not gain the advantage that all of our other candidates did and that was a huge mistake on his part."
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