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November 2, 2010

Pro-life Democrats See Cuts

We're keeping a close eye on races involving pro-life Democrats. If the results go as expected, the number of pro-life votes from Democrats could be cut in half. We're particularly interested in the election outcomes of those who supported the final version of the health care law.

There are 33 House races involving Democrats who voted for the original Stupak-Pitts Amendment (which would have banned abortion funding in the health care bill) and final passage of the health care bill (which did not include the Stupak-Pitts amendment). About half of these are facing tough fights tonight.

Two of the first districts with results may prove to be bellwethers for these pro-life Democrats. Joe Donnelly (D, IN-2) narrowly won his bid for reelection despite being the target of pro-life groups, including CitizenLink. The district, which includes South Bend, was targeted because it was a close district that could go Republican. Further south, Indiana's 9th district proved to be a easier ground for the GOP. Republican Todd Young defeated incumbent Democrat Baron Hill who has represented the district for five terms.

Other results coming in are in districts that were leaning strongly toward the Republicans. In 2008, Tom Perriello (D, VA-5) won the district by less than one thousand votes. In this midterm election, the former human rights lawyer did not pull out another squeaker. Robert Hurt, the Republican, easily won the 5th District back for the GOP.

There are still a dozen close races yet to be called. Votes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other eastern states should be counted soon.