Election Not 'Voter Rebuke' for Conservatives, Leaders Say

By Randy Hall | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Tuesday's midterm election results may have been a loss for the GOP, but it was "emphatically not a loss for conservatives," leaders of several conservative organizations said Wednesday.

Some pointed to a noticeable trend in which Republican incumbents who succeeded in keeping their seats, and Democrats who succeeded in unseating incumbents in others, tended to be those espousing more conservative positions.

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer asserted that despite GOP losses on Tuesday, values were a winner on election night.

"We're very concerned and disappointed that Democratic liberals will be running the House and possibly the Senate," said Bauer, who serves as chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

"These losses, however, should not be taken as a rejection of conservative values. When the issues stood alone, they almost always prevailed," Bauer noted. "For example, in seven out of eight races, traditional marriage won overwhelmingly."

The measures carried in Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In a 51-49 percent vote, Arizona broke the national trend by defeating a proposition to change its constitution to define marriage as a one-man, one-woman institution. Such amendments have in the past been successful in all 20 states to consider them.

"It is telling that almost everyone in this election cycle -- Democrat or Republican -- ran as the choice of 'Values Voters,' Bauer added. "Faith, family, love of country were the themes no matter what the party, which shows the strength of this often ignored block of Americans."

Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, took issue with a front-page story in the Washington Post that declared the outcome "A Voter Rebuke for Bush, the War and the Right."

"Look at the election returns -- Republicans lost," Bozell said in a statement.

"[But] look at the ballot initiatives -- numerous conservative ideas and the principles of the political right were victorious all over the country."

While voters were affected by the war in Iraq and their views of President Bush, among other issues, conservatives won on nearly all the major ballot issues at the state level, Bozell noted.

"For instance, ballot initiatives to recognize marriage as being between a man and a woman won in seven out of eight states with strong majority support," he added.

"Voters also supported initiatives to protect property rights against government land-grabbers and expressed strong support for tougher enforcement of laws against illegal immigration, among other conservative issues," said Bozell, whose MRC is the parent company of Cybercast News Service.

In its article Wednesday, the Post opined: "The political pendulum in American politics swung away from the right yesterday, putting an end to the 12-year Republican Revolution on Capitol Hill and delivering a sharp rebuke of President Bush and the Iraq war.

"The GOP reign in the House that began with [former GOP Speaker] Newt Gingrich in a burst of vision and confrontation in 1994 came crashing down amid voter disaffection with congressional corruption," it said.

Bozell strongly disagreed with the newspaper's version of the election results.

"The Washington Post is trying to write the first pages of the history of the 2006 election, and it is trying, as usual, to discredit conservative ideas by attaching them to the coattails of the Republican Party," he noted. "But that is not the fact, and it's certainly not accurate 'reporting.'

"Today, the Washington Post is synonymous with [Democratic National Committee Chairman] Howard Dean," Bozell added. "It's time now for conservatives to denounce the blatantly dishonest agenda that the Post is packaging as 'news.'"

' Marriage wins'

"The undisputed winner of the 2006 election is marriage," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America (CWA).

Opponents "tried to convince citizens that these marriage amendments would take away heterosexual couples' rights. But the word and concept are clear: marriage is the mysterious, irreplaceable relationship of a husband and wife," she stated.

"Voters, especially 'Values Voters,' had made it clear that the two issues that drive them to the polls are marriage and federal judges."

"The issues that fueled voter enthusiasm in 2004 -- in addition to national security -- seemed shelved, treated like trinkets to entertain gullible citizens while politicians busied themselves spending tax dollars on pork barrel projects," Wright noted.

As a result, "the 2006 election was a rousing defeat for a Republican leadership wracked with accusations of corruption and sex scandals over the last year," said Mike Mears, director of state legislative relations for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.

Mears said he noticed "a very curious trend" breaking late Tuesday night. "As we looked at the results, we saw that many of the Republicans keeping their seats, and some of the Democrats who beat incumbents, tended to be more conservative.

"This alone bodes well for a new paradigm shift for Concerned Women for America members and conservatives who will be looking for a 'philosophical majority' to work with in the next Congress," he added.

"This loss doesn't mean our country has suddenly up and turned liberal since the 2004 elections," said Lindsey Randall of the CWA Press Department. "This should be a wake up call to all Republicans that they need to get back to their roots: smaller government, lower taxes, and life."

Make media inquiries or request an interview with Randy Hall.

Subscribe to the free CNSNews.com daily E-Brief.

E-mail a comment or news tip to Randy Hall.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.