A Great Night For Conservatives
Matt Blevin & Jenean Hampton
Kentucky -- Kentuckians elected only the second Republican governor in more than 40 years. The winner, Matt Bevin, came out of the Tea Party movement. He challenged Sen. Mitch McConnell last year, and narrowly won the GOP primary for governor this year.
Democrats said they were victims of "Trump-mania" -- claiming that Bevin was a businessman and an outsider like Trump. But there is a lot of evidence that social issues put Bevin over the top. He aggressively courted evangelical voters and populist Catholics.
The state has been at the center of the same-sex marriage controversy for some time now. Bevin promised voters that he would defend Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and defund Planned Parenthood.
Bill and Hillary Clinton were also big losers last night. Bill Clinton carried the state twice, but any hopes that Hillary might be able to carry the state in 2016 were dashed. The Democrat candidate for governor not only ran away from Barack Obama, he ran from Hillary, too.
In addition to Bevin's victory, Republicans won three other statewide offices, wiping out the Democrat bench of possible future candidates. The defeated Democrat candidate for state auditor was widely expected to challenge Senator Rand Paul next year.
Moreover, Bevin also made history with the selection of his running mate, "Jenean Hampton. I predict she will be a future governor or senator.
Virginia -- Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), who barely won in 2013, desperately wanted to flip control the Virginia state Senate. He needed to win only one seat to gain control (with the lieutenant governor breaking tie votes). But Republicans held on to their 21-to-19 majority.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to show what a full-fledged attack on gun rights could do to Second Amendment conservatives. Bloomberg poured millions of dollars into key races, attempting to exploit the tragic shooting of two reporters earlier this year. He failed. Yesterday's vote was a victory for the Second Amendment.
Houston -- The radical left-wing social agenda took a major hit in Houston. The lesbian mayor of Houston rammed through a broadly written, so-called "equal rights" statute that also included transgendered individuals as a protected class.
Pastors -- black, white and Hispanic -- quickly figured out that the left's agenda would force their daughters to undress in locker rooms in front of boys who claim they are girls and allow men who claim they are women to use public women's restrooms. They mobilized opposition to the law and collected signatures to put a repeal measure on the ballot.
The whole Houston establishment defended this law. Virtually every media outlet said that those opposed to the law were bigots. Sadly, the Houston business community demanded that the law be upheld and threatened to leave the city if it wasn't. Do business leaders really think that companies want to come to Houston so their employees' daughters can be forced to undress in front of boys?
Polls showed the law would be narrowly supported by the voters. But it lost last night 61%-to-39%. A Washington Post reporter saw the writing on the wall when he visited Houston and saw long lines of African Americans waiting to vote early with t-shirts that read, "No men in women's bathrooms."
Ohio -- Voters in the Buckeye State rejected recreational marijuana use by a 2-to-1.
San Francisco -- Yes, even in the liberal paradise of San Francisco there were conservative victories. Onerous new business regulations were voted down and the pro-sanctuary city sheriff lost reelection!
Whether it was rural Democrats in Kentucky, black and Hispanic Democrats in Houston, blue collar Democrats in Ohio or pro-Second Amendment, working class voters in Virginia, conservative causes and candidates were able to win by putting together coalitions and boldly defending our values.
I recall that after Mitt Romney lost in 2012, the Republican National Committee commissioned a special study on what went wrong. They concluded that the party needed to do more of the things that, in my opinion, were causing our defeats.
Maybe the Republican party should do a study of what went right last night, and do more of those "right" things in the elections ahead next year.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families
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