Fully half of the twenty GOP incumbents who lost their seats in the House on Tuesday received either a 100% ranking from the joint Family Research Council Action/Focus on the Family Action voter guide or the endorsement of Gary Bauer’s Campaign for Working Families – and five of the losers received both.
At the same time, five of the six GOP senators who lost their re-election bids received both a 100% ranking form FRC/FOF and a CWF endorsement (the exception being Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee.)
But fresh off the thumpin’ the Republicans took in last week’s election, right-wing leaders such as James Dobson, Tony Perkins, and Gary Bauer are frantically trying to spin the results to claim that the loss can be attributed to the fact that the GOP abandoned its base and inevitably suffered the consequences.
They consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power until it was late in the game and then frantically tried to catch up at the last minute. In 2004, conservative voters handed them a 10-seat majority in the Senate and a 29-seat edge in the House. And what did they do with their power? Very little that Values Voters care about.
In the end, voters had grown tired of a party whose lapses in judgment were overshadowed only by its lapse of belief in core values. When conservatives realized that Republicans had abandoned their ideology, they ultimately abandoned the GOP.
The idea seems to be to convince themselves and the rest of the country that Republicans lost 28 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate because they were insufficiently committed to the Right’s agenda.
House: GOP Incumbent Losses
AZ-05 (Hayworth) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
CA-11 (Pombo) – 57% FRC/FOF Ranking
CT-05 (Johnson) – 28% FRC/FOF Ranking
FL-22 (Shaw) – 57% FRC/FOF Ranking
IN-02 (Chocola)- 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
IN-08 (Hostettler) – 71% FRC/FOF Ranking, CWF Endorsement
IN-09 (Sodrel) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
IA-02 (Leach) – 42% FRC/FOF Ranking
KS-02 (Ryun) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking
KY-03 (Northup) – 57% FRC/FOF Ranking, CWF Endorsement
MN-01 (Gutknecht) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
NH-01 (Bradley) – 57% FRC/FOF Ranking
NH-02 (Bass) – 28% FRC/FOF Ranking
NY-19 (Kelly) – 57% FRC/FOF Ranking
NY-20 (Sweeney) – 57% FRC/FOF Ranking
NC-11 (Taylor) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
PA-04 (Hart) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking
PA-07 (Weldon) – 71% FRC/FOF Ranking, CWF Endorsement
PA-08 (Fitzpatrick) – 71% FRC/FOF Ranking
PA-10 (Sherwood) – 85% FRC/FOF Ranking
Senate: GOP Incumbent Losses
MO (Talent) 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
MT (Burns) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
OH (Dewine) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
PA (Santorum) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
RI (Chafee) – 25% FRC/FOF Ranking
VA (Allen) – 100% FRC/FOF Ranking and CWF Endorsement
If the Republicans lost seats to more progressive candidates because right-wing voters were angry that the party “had abandoned their ideology” – as Bauer, Perkins, and Dobson claim – then how do they explain the fact that 10 of the 20 House members and 5 of the 6 Senators who lost were obvious champions of that ideology and agenda as determined by their own voter guide and list of endorsements?