Peter Wolfgang on Why Linda Lost

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\"\"It was her muddled message on social issues, says Peter Wolfgang, head of the Family Institute of Connecticut.

\”Linda McMahon lost the election for Connecticut’s U.S. Senate not because she reached out to social conservatives but because her outreach was poorly executed and, on same-sex \’marriage,\’ she betrayed it altogether,\’\’ writes Wolfgang on his personal Facebook page.

The full message after the jump:

McMahon had laid out a careful strategy in two elections of a soft social conservatism, mostly supportive of abortion but siding with conservatives on parental notification, partial-birth abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood, the definition of marriage and the First Amendment right to religious liberty.

This strategy only works if the candidate advocates for those positions. Not just independent parties like National Right to Life Committee or Peter Wolfgang, the candidate herself must defend her positions. Linda never did.

Instead, she emphasized her pro-abortion position ad infinitum but never ran a single ad challenging her opponent on such common sense issues as parental notification. The result was confusion among social conservative voters.

Confusion turned to a sense of betrayal when Linda reversed her pro-traditional marriage position one month before the election and said she now supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.

Linda’s flip-flop on marriage was an electorally fatal error, tanking in a single instant her four year long, $100 million investment in a U.S. Senate seat. It provoked one of the biggest negative reactions I have ever seen from social conservative voters in my five years as President of Family Institute of Connecticut Action, voters who called me day and night to say she had lost their votes.

Media and politicians who are unfamiliar with social conservatism in Connecticut tend to think it is a phenomenon that begins and ends with one issue: abortion. But the single biggest culture war conflict in Connecticut over the last decade was not about the right to life. It was about the definition of marriage.

The coalition that fought to maintain the traditional definition of marriage in Connecticut is bigger and more diverse than the pro-life movement in Connecticut and it includes people on both sides of the life issue. That is why—at a time when pro-abortion victories seemed irreversible at our state Capitol—Family Institute of Connecticut defeated same-sex “marriage” at the legislature every year for a decade. Marriage was only re-defined in our state via judicial fiat.

This is the history Linda did not know when she reversed her position on same-sex “marriage.” Her flip-flop won few converts to her candidacy but cost her thousands of votes—the thousands of state voters who had prayed, marched, rallied, signed petitions and lobbied their legislators this past decade to protect the traditional definition of marriage in Connecticut.

I hope Linda’s fate will be a lesson to the national GOP. The Republican Party could have won another, much needed, seat in the U.S. Senate if only its candidate in Connecticut had not flip-flopped on same-sex “marriage.”

If this is true even in liberal Connecticut, it is truer of the nation as a whole. If the national Republican Party ever abandons its historic role as the pro-traditional marriage party, it will consign itself to the status of the Connecticut Republican Party: a permanent minority.

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13 thoughts on “Peter Wolfgang on Why Linda Lost

  1. GOP Realist

    So he helped elect Chris Murphy! He helped send a message to the GOP! That message is Chris Murphy will be a senator from Connecticut for the next 30 years protecting abortion rights and voting for same sex marriage. Great job Peter!

  2. Norton the Pooch

    This, in a few short paragraphs, shows a goos example of how the GOP has been co-opted by the extreme right. As a registered Republican, I am proud to say that I voted Democratic. Stop praying for change and start working together to solve the country’s problems. Hint: that doesn’t include rolling back social progress to fit a narrow viewpoint.

  3. Sam

    McMahon lost for many reasons, but the bottom line is that Chris Murphy was a strong candidate and Connecticut was not ready to let a political novice buy a U.S. Senate seat, even for $100 million.

  4. Lee

    It looks like the people in Connecticut want their free stuff from the government. Of course they don’t understand the consequence. The moochers have the power and based on the national elections it looks like we are the divided states of America.

    1. Elaine

      I’m not a “moocher”; I don’t take any money from the Federal or State governments; I pay high property taxes, and high income taxes. I’m also a staunch DEMOCRAT. So much of your moocher theory for supporters of the Democrats. The Presidential and Senate Democrat wins show that we don’t like being labeled “moochers” or “victims” by the Republicans.

  5. James J. Connolly

    People like Peter Wolfgang, the rightwing prude and anti-woman extremist, are themselves the reason the Republican Party is a minority nationally and a tiny, impotent minority in Connecticut. It is humorous to see the Republicans turn on themselves now like so many spiders in a bottle.

  6. Disgusted

    Marriage schmarriage. Linda lost because she abandoned the Republican Party by aligning with Obama in recent adds to pander for more votes. Her lack of loyalty and level of arrogance disgusts me.

  7. JRB

    Peter is right. Romney, McCain in 2008, and Linda McMahon lost because they betrayed one or more of the core principles of the Republican base. That includes social conservatism, which are really the most important, emotionally charges, and uncompromising issues we face.

    A proof that they are the most important is the viciousness, personal hatred, and utter intransigence shown by the left toward conservatives for defending true marriage and the right to life. Liberals will compromise here and there on taxes or spending, but will NEVER give an inch on same-sex “marriage.”

    1. Tipa

      CONSERVATIVES will compromise here and there on taxes or spending, but will NEVER give an inch on same-sex marriage.

      Fixed that for you.

  8. Ed of Ct.

    McMahon(Ct.) like Brown of Mass. and Roraback from the 5th district of Ct. were retreads of their liberal opponents in the Dem. party. Their refusal like Foley of Ct.(Previous Gov. election race) to support Family-DOMA, pro life activities made them and the GOP of New England in Congress and the Gov. office largely extinct.What family values indep. or social Conservative regardless of party affiliation vote for them??.It is no suprise that they lost

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