In early November, Ohio voters voted in a statewide referendum on a constitutional amendment protecting a so-called right to abortion. The amendment passed, making Ohio the seventh state where voters decided to protect abortion through law.
Since the decision, there has been breathless coverage stating that Pro-Life is a losing issue for Republicans. Detractors say that it is time to get over the life issue and move on, because it will lose elections and suburban voters don’t like it. This rhetorical game is to be expected on the life issue, it occurs regularly, but it’s pure nonsense.
It’s nonsense because votes like this one do not come down to voter sentiment alone. Out-of-state funding plays a big role in these types of referenda. In Ohio, the pro-abortion side had about 75 million dollars spent on their side, whereas conservatives only had 15 million. The pro-choicers outspent the pro-life side by five to one.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that pro-life is a hard and fast-losing issue. It more so indicates that the far left and radical democrats know how to drum up voter turnout. The Democrats can run more ads and get more boots on the ground with these campaigns, which in turn makes people who lean pro-choice more likely to get out there and vote.
This highlights a problem facing the conservative movement. It’s not that conservatives are picking losing issues or issues that don’t matter. The problem is that conservatives don’t seem as interested in organizing well and getting out the vote. Organizational efforts to get boots on the ground and talk to people about issues that are important to them, and emphasizing that they need to go vote on these issues that matter, are what is missing right now.
The radical left has an army of nonprofits and foundations on their side ready to organize support for any issue. Conservatives need to meet them on the same level. We have got to get organized so that we can get out the vote as well. If we don’t, the Democrats will continue to win on important issues like abortion.