MANCHESTER, N.H.—Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge signers did better than Republicans as a group in Tuesday’s election, proving that voters did not reject the ideas Cornerstone is advancing and instead reacted to the Democrats’ successful effort to mislead voters and the Republicans’ failure to define how they would pursue pro-family issues in office.
“Cornerstone was acting in near isolation in New Hampshire promoting the issues of life, liberty of conscience, parental rights and the importance of supporting the nuclear family as the foundational building block of society, and candidates were left to fend for themselves when trying to define how reasonable and necessary these issues are,” said Shannon McGinley, Cornerstone’s acting executive director. “The Democratic Party incorrectly described these reasonable ideas as extreme, and the Republican Party agreed with these terms by ignoring the attacks and letting the Democrats’ definitions stick. As a result, the people rejected the party that failed to define these issues in favor of the one that did, however incorrectly.
“At the same time, Cornerstone can legitimately say that informed voters who the organization was able to reach absolutely favored Families First Pledge signers, because they know the ideas in the pledge are not just reasonable, they’re essential to maintaining freedom and prosperity in their state,” McGinley added. “Our Families First General Election Voter Guide was successful, despite the impact of wave voters.”
Cornerstone elected 65 of the candidates who signed the Families First Pledge or who were featured in a Candidate Corner article, 45 percent of the total candidates in this category. Even more impressive, 61 of those 65 candidates were elected to the N.H. House and that’s 48 percent of the total candidates in this category. Only 44 percent of the N.H. House is now represented by Republican members, and 35 percent of them openly supported Cornerstone’s issues. Looking at pledge signers alone, Cornerstone elected 55 to the House, or 49 percent of those who signed the pledge. Compare that to Republicans’ 176 winners, or 48 percent of all the candidates who ran under the GOP banner. Meanwhile, the percentage of Republican losers was precisely the same as the percentage of Cornerstone pledge signers or supported candidates who lost, meaning that Cornerstone’s issues were not a factor in their loss.
“I want to be the first one to warn the Republican Party about what course of action they take next,” McGinley said. “Republicans failure on Tuesday was not due to conservative, pro-family values, it was due to the party’s failure to properly address these issues and explain them to voters through their top-ticket candidates. If Republicans continue to ignore social issues as they did this election, these social issues will continue to be defined incorrectly by the Democrats for political advantage, whether Republicans like it or not.
“Cornerstone will continue to advocate for pro-family candidates in both parties, and we will continue to advance policies that protect innocent life, preserve liberty of conscience, emphasize the importance of the traditional family, restore parental rights and enact free market economic principles that operate independent of a limited, smaller government,” McGinley continued. “We hope that the Republican and Democratic parties come to their senses and help us advance these very American ideals, but if they do not, we will continue to advance them despite the efforts of the parties to ignore or diminish them.”
With election results in hand, Cornerstone will be working over the next several weeks with elected pledge signers and other supported winners to advance its Families First Legislative Agenda during the upcoming bill signing period. Clearly, Cornerstone does not expect to pass many of the policies in its agenda over the next two years, but we do intend to build a case for them so the people will truly understand where we’re coming from when the 2014 elections come around. Cornerstone will pursue every policy that has a chance of success and will count on its elected pledge signers and other supported winners to introduce these bills and advance their purpose.
“The time for Republicans to wake up is now,” McGinley said. “This is not a time to abandon principle but a time to stand by it and convince the people why it is the best way forward for our state. We think that effort will be successful come 2014.”
About Cornerstone Action
Cornerstone-Action and Cornerstone Policy Research are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional values, limited government, and free markets through education, information and advocacy. Our vision is to create an environment in which strong families—the foundation of our society—can lead New Hampshire into a new era of prosperity and strength. For more information, please visit nhcornerstone.org.