Voters gave the Republican Party a majority in the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s mid-term election, leaving President Obama without a Democratic-controlled chamber in Congress for the first time since he took residence in the White House nearly six years ago.
Southern Baptist candidates, meanwhile, won first-time seats in Congress as part of the Republican blitz, but social conservatives did not fare well on some state initiatives.
The GOP gained at least seven senatorial seats Nov. 4, with winners in at least two races yet to be determined. Republicans will have at least 52 seats in the 100-member Senate beginning in January.
In the House of Representatives, Republicans expanded their majority. It appears the GOP will gain at least nine seats to push its total to 243 or more in the 435-member chamber.
Social conservatives said the results showed that Democrats’ “war-on-women” rhetoric against Republican pro-life candidates — seemingly successful in the past — had worn out its welcome with voters.
Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said the election illustrates that “the pro-life issue persists and can win,” which he deemed the “most important aspect” of Election Day 2014.
“Candidates who articulated explicitly their commitment to life won, and those who expected to use abortion as a ‘wedge issue’ to benefit the ‘pro-choice’ cause lost,” Moore said in a written statement for Baptist Press. “We should pray now that the newly elected Congress and the president will be able to work together for just policies that protect and promote human dignity, family stability and religious liberty.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said the “overwhelming victory for pro-life candidates signals the fact that the bottom has fallen out of the abortion-centered ‘war on women’ strategy.”
What the party divide between the White House and Congress means legislatively for the next two years remains to be seen. It appears unlikely the GOP, which is the more conservative of the two major parties, will be able to push conservative measures — especially on social issues — past the president’s veto pen.
Republicans in the Senate, however, could present a significant hurdle for Obama nominations to the Supreme Court and other federal judgeships. Obama already has placed two liberal justices — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — on the high court with Senate confirmation during his presidency.
Members of Southern Baptist churches won races in both houses.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press