Strategic Mistake in the Pro-Life Cause

I wrote about the ongoing battle in the OH-15 race between Steve Stivers and Mary-Jo Kilroy on the front page, but I wanted to add some potentially more contentious comments here.

One reason this race is this close is because a conservative Christian ran as an independent and there was a libertarian candidate on the ballot as well. Both canidates took between four and five percent of the vote.

While I am pro-life and avidly so, I am at a loss for how the candidacy of the pro-life Christian Don Eckhart was strategically anything but self-defeating. I am all in favor of running in a primary and pushing the pro-life message and candidates. I am in favor of the GOP platform remaining staunchly pro-life. The GOP should be the pro-life party.

But it is simply a fact that pro-life candidates are not going to win in every district. If the GOP is to be a majority party there are going to be exceptions and a range of views.

Steve Stivers was the best possible candidate the GOP could get for that seat this cycle. He, like his predecessor, is a moderate on abortion – favors restrictions but not an outright ban – and other issues. But his opponent is an across the board lefty – see Erick for more on this.

Eckhart – nor the libertarian obviously – never had the slightest chance of winning or of even garnering a substantial vote count. Is it worth helping to elect a doctrinaire liberal who is as pro-abortion as it is possible to be just so you can vote “pure.”

I don’t mean to be harsh, but this makes no sense to me. This seat has been held by a pro-choice Republican and if anything Stivers was an upgrade from Pryce. In a terrible election cycle Eckhart decides he has to give voters a pro-life alternative and thus making the likelihood of a pro-abortion extremist much more likely.

Can someone explain how this makes sense? If you can’t vote for someone who is pro-choice in any way, fine. Don’t vote. I can respect that. But running against the best chance Republicans have to win the seat doesn’t accomplish anything. This is not strategic thinking.