Unfortunately, We Had a Typical Midterm Election
By Jim Sedlak
It’s [two days] after Election Day and political pundits are going to spin the results of this election every which way but loose. There is going to be detailed analysis of what went right and what went wrong. But, the fact is, this was a very normal outcome for a midterm election, and, if anything, the numbers actually aren’t as bad as they could be.
Let’s start with a fact that can be backed up with a year-by-year table. The party of the incumbent president tends to lose ground during midterm elections: Over the past 21 midterm elections, the incumbent president’s party has lost an average of 30 seats in the House and an average of four seats in the Senate. Moreover, in only two of those years has the president’s party gained seats in both houses (once by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 and then by George W. Bush in 2002).
In his first midterm (2010), Barack Obama lost 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate. Similarly, Bill Clinton lost 54 seats in the House and nine seats in the Senate in 1994. Both presidents continued to fight for their agenda and won second terms in office.
Many conservatives, especially those in the pro-life movement, like to draw comparisons with Ronald Reagan. During his first midterm election, Reagan lost 26 seats in the House and zero in the Senate. He was left with 54 Republicans in the Senate and just 166 in the House.
Today, President Trump is facing a new Congress in January in which he will have at least 51 Republicans in the Senate (four races still undetermined) and at least 193 in the House (23 races still undetermined as I write this). Not what we wished for, but certainly not a catastrophe.
If we have to name a loser in this election, it has to be Planned Parenthood. Although it picked up enough support in the House to keep a lot of its funding (we will address that in another article in this Wednesday STOPP Report), it was not able to win the Senate. Planned Parenthood poured money and manpower into Senate races in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri and lost them all. It no longer has fake Catholics—Missouri’s Claire McCaskill, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp—to carry its agenda. Despite the spin it will try to sell, it really wasn’t a good night for Planned Parenthood.
As has become clearer over the last decade, Planned Parenthood relies on courts and friendly judges to push its agenda. It especially needs federal judges who will support that agenda. With Republican control of the Senate, President Trump has, in the last two years, been able to get two Supreme Court justices approved over Planned Parenthood’s cries of outrage.
In addition to the Supreme Court justices, as of November 4, 2018, the United States Senate has confirmed another 82 judges nominated by President Trump, including 29 judges for the United States Courts of Appeals and 53 judges for the United States District Courts. The Republican-controlled Senate can take immediate action on seven nominations for the Courts of Appeals and 48 for the District Courts. It is expected over the next two years that Trump will be able to fill about a dozen vacancies on the US Courts of Appeals and over 120 vacancies on the US District Courts. All of this will be very bad for Planned Parenthood’s ability to find biased judges to push its agenda (as it frequently does in California and elsewhere).
The elections are over. The results are in. Now is the time to move forward with all of our peaceful, prayerful efforts to save the lives of preborn human beings and the souls of our teenagers.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk-show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.